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    Story by Senior Airman Ryan Zeski 

    Michigan National Guard

    ALPENA, Mich. - The ability to see your enemy before they see you is beneficial to military assets. That’s exactly what members of the 123rd Air Control Squadron are able to provide with their advanced radar technology.

    The 123rd ACS convoyed more than 20 vehicles and more than 80 Airmen from the Blue Ash Air National Guard Station in Cincinnati, Ohio to the Alpena Combat Training Readiness Center in Northern Michigan, to participate in the Northern Strike 15 combat training exercise, organized and operated by the Michigan National Guard.

    NS 15 is the primary combat training exercise for the Michigan National guard. The exercise combines more than 2,000 Soldiers and Airmen from the Michigan Guard, active duty and other states’ national guards. Providing an opportunity to integrate ground Soldiers with many of the combat capabilities that would be employed in a kinetic operation like mortars, artillery, and rotary and fixed wing attack aviation.

    At one location, a crew of only 12 Airmen set up an entire mock Deployed Radar Site in less than eight hours. The equipment is mobile and efficient for trained and rehearsed Airmen such as those representing the 123rd.

    The DRS consists of an AN/TPS-75 radar, which has a radius of 240 nautical miles and is capable of detecting aircraft up to 95,000 feet. It also facilitates full satellite communication capability with an aerospace ground equipment team and a vast array of air-to-air and air-to-ground radios.

    Information collected from the DRS is relayed to aircraft controllers on the other side of the base, simulating actual deployment conditions. The controllers are in contact with the aircraft at all times to provide information updates and to relay radar images to the aircraft allowing the air crew to indirectly see what is happening around them.

    “The deployed radar site lets us send back an accurate image of a location to Airmen before they get there,” Said Master Sgt. John Grube, 123rd Air Control Squadron RF transmission technician. “Allowing us to keep our people and aircraft at a safe distance from extreme danger.”

    In a real-world deployment, multiple radar sites would be set up around an incident zone to provide complete coverage of an area. The location of the site is typically positioned between an area of interest and the Airmen. The DRS is set up the same way it would be set up overseas or during a homeland emergency. During Northern Strike 15, the 123rd ACS is a fully functional DRS that communicates with aircraft in real-time.

    “The training for an overseas deployment we received at the Alpena CRTC was far more beneficial than any we would ever receive at home station,” said Grube. “There is no question that DRS technology advances save lives and lessen equipment damage.”



    Date Taken: 08.01.2015
    Date Posted: 08.03.2015 11:43
    Story ID: 171943
    Location: ALPENA, MI, US 

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