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    The National Guard of the Future

    Tactical Technologies

    Photo By Senior Airman Daniel Meade | Airmen assigned to the New York Air National Guard’s 274th Air Support Operations...... read more read more



    Story by Senior Airman Daniel Meade 

    107th Attack Wing Public Affairs

    NIAGARA FALLS AIR RESERVE BASE, New York, (Aug. 17, 2022) - The New York Air National Guard’s 274th Air Support Operations Squadron, part of the 107th Attack Wing, participated in a training operation headed by the Air Force Research Lab outside of Plattsburgh N.Y., Aug. 6-7, 2022.

    Their training played a part in a larger series of experiments known as Future Flag, which tests experimental and emerging technology and its uses in tactical situations. The 274th’s goal was to provide strategic data in real-time through different techniques, testing their own capabilities in high-stress situations.

    Using equipment that is classified today but will someday be common for the Airmen, the 274th trained by conducting a 24-hour operation providing reconnaissance data on a simulated enemy while avoiding contact with them.

    The classified data was collected and disseminated for research to more than 20 different government organizations and more than 150 individuals in attendance, including the New York Air National Guard’s 174th Attack Wing, the 106th Rescue Wing, the Army Cyber Institute and more.

    Brig. Gen. Denise Donnell, commander of the New York Air National Guard, met with the Airmen of the 274th during a visit to the Future Flag operation.

    She shared her appreciation for what the Airmen were doing and said that being in the National Guard is hard because you leave your job on Friday to start a 24-hour operation, hiking in the mountains, and then go right back to work on Monday.

    “Accelerate change or lose,” the words of Gen. Charles Brown Jr., chief of staff of the Air Force, echoed back and forth throughout the weekend.

    With accelerating change as the agenda of the event, the organizers realized that a part of change is learning to fail forward.

    Peter LaMonica, the Future Flag program director from the AFRL, said that some training environments have a limited window of opportunity to accomplish objectives, with little room for failure.

    Future Flag is designed to give individuals the chance to continue to come back to the project with fresh ideas and try again with accurate data in real-time, he continued.

    The flexibility that Future Flag provided made a way for the 274th tactical air control party specialists to provide data for research while also allowing them to test new technology they weren’t familiar with, providing feedback in real-time.

    One TACP said that they still have a lot to learn about reconnaissance and using new technology.

    LaMonica agreed, “there’s a cool synergy happening here where failure is accepted, not shunned,” he said. “Come as you are, test your products and capabilities and utilize the people around you.

    “This information that we’re gathering is invaluable and not just to the AFRL, but I think it’s incredibly valuable to the 274th and all the players that we have as part of this,” he continued.

    The Airmen of the 274th agreed and reiterated that point, exclaiming the value of having hands-on training with experimental and innovative tools and learning how to use them while on the move.

    LaMonica said that whether your job is in a research lab, designing a product, or working in a tactile situation, Future Flag provides you with the unique opportunity to fail and learn to improve on it.

    “Find your limits,” he said, “and learn to exceed past them.”



    Date Taken: 08.06.2022
    Date Posted: 08.17.2022 17:23
    Story ID: 427406

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