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    Air defense units test their skills during Roving Sands 22

    Air Defense Units test their skills during Roving Sands 2022

    Photo By Sgt. Ian Vega-Cerezo | An 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade Soldiers pulls guard after a chemical attack...... read more read more

    EL PASO, TX, UNITED STATES

    05.26.2022

    Story by Sgt. Ian Vega-Cerezo 

    32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command

    FORT BLISS, Texas – Air defense Soldiers from across the 32d Army Air and Missile Defense Command recently took part in Roving Sands 22, May 14 to 23. The exercise spanned several Fort Bliss training areas and is the only event of its kind in the U.S. Army.
    The Roving Sands exercise is intended as an opportunity to gauge the operational capability and training methods used by air defense artillery brigades and to test their systems in simulated large-scale combat operations.
    “Roving Sands is the largest integrated air and missile defense exercise in the continental United States involving nearly 2,000 Soldiers, and we conduct it as we continue to prepare for large-scale combat operations in support of our maneuver force,” said Brig. Gen. David F. Stewart, commanding general, 32d AAMDC and Roving Sands 22 exercise director. “We had units come from all over the nation, Fort Hood, Fort Sill, Fort Bragg and Fort Campbell, to support this combat training center style event that was world-class training for our Soldiers.”
    The latest iteration of Roving Sands was also an opportunity to test new procedures and control measures in the exercise for the first time.
    “We were able to leverage 1st Armored Division, a maneuver unit, to serve as a higher command which was the first time a maneuver unit replicated a Corps level unit in Roving Sands,” said Maj. Andrew Sklar, training and exercise support officer, 32d AAMDC. “This allowed 32d AAMDC, to ensure maneuver forces understood how to realistically use air defense forces to support them on the battlefield. To simulate air defense engagements, we used the Pelorus system and Flight Mission Simulator/Digital to bring the simulated Theater Ballistic Missile fight to the Patriot crews.
    On a daily basis, units were faced with a multitude of wartime scenarios, such as chemical attacks, small arms engagements and mass casualty events, which challenged their ability to react to external stressors while accomplishing their overall air defense mission of defending ground forces from air and missile attacks.
    “Roving Sands has been a really good exercise. It’s really given us the opportunity to work in a large-scale combat operations environment,” said Capt. Vincente Trejo, battery commander, Charlie Battery, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Air Defense Artillery Regiment, 31st Air Defense Artillery Brigade, Fort Sill, Okla. “I think that my battery will leave here far more proficient in our basic soldiering and our air defense skills. It’s an opportune event that allows us to leave as better Soldiers and a better battery.”
    According to Lt. Col. Matthew Inglis, battalion commander for 5th Battalion, 52nd Air Defense Artillery Regiment, 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, Fort Bliss, air defense units have to employ large-scale combat operations tactics at Roving Sands that they don’t normally use on operational deployments. “Unlike CENTCOM, where we know exactly where the enemy is, and they're pretty static, here there is a dynamic, changing threat that continues to challenge our defensive line and our force protection elements as well,” Inglis said.
    Roving Sands also attracted a number of distinguished visitors, such as Command Sgt. Maj. Jacinto Garza of U.S. Army Central, Brig. Gen. Curt Taylor of the National Training Center, and senior air defense officers hailing from Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
    “The thing that I was most proud of during this rotation was the visit we had from the National Training Center's commander, Brig. Gen. Curt Taylor,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Jerry Jacobitz, 32d AAMDC senior enlisted advisor.
    “He mentioned he’d wanted to see more Soldiers digging in to increase their survivability," said Jacobitz. "So when he went to see some of our Avenger system operators in the field, who had actually dug in their fighting positions, he said ‘I had to fly all the way to Fort Bliss, Texas, in order to see the standard.’”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 05.26.2022
    Date Posted: 05.28.2022 13:44
    Story ID: 421693
    Location: EL PASO, TX, US 

    Web Views: 104
    Downloads: 1

    PUBLIC DOMAIN