Defense

September 1, 2017
 

OTC tests latest Apache helicopter radar signal detecting set

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Maj. Matthew Miskowski
Inyokern, Calif.

101st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion pilots fill out post-mission surveys (nearest to furthest): Capt. Aaron Hooper (Company Commander), Chief Warrant Officer 3 Lance Mundo (Safety Officer), Chief Warrant Officer 2 Ryan Swets (Pilot), and 1st Lt. Zachary Bell (Platoon Leader). Soldiers generate the data gathered by U.S. Army Operational Test Command for analysts to provide reports to the Army Evaluation Center that ultimately informs the Army’s acquisition leadership.

Thirty of U.S. Army’s finest accomplished the Follow-on Test (FOT) of the AN/APR-39D(V) Radar Signal Detecting Set at Inyokern, California, both increasing unit readiness and informing acquisition fielding decisions for the Army.

Bearcat Co., of the 1st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, planned their warfighting missions in a hangar at the Inyokern public use airport, co-located with four Apache attack helicopters.

Each of the 16 attack and reconnaissance missions were conducted on the Electronic Combat Range at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, California.

The ECR is a great training facility and test location, according to Larry Hood, an Aviation test officer from U.S. Army Operational Test Command (OTC), based at Fort Hood, Texas.

Hood suggests units to consider the ECR for future training opportunities.

Scott McLendon, a retired Chief Warrant Officer 5 Apache pilot serving on the test as an OTC Aviation operations officer, reflected on the opportunity given to 1-101 ARB and the rest of Army Aviation.

Test Soldiers for the AN/APR-39D(V)2 RSDS FOT are (left to right, Bravo Company, 1-101st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade from Fort Campbell, Ky.): Chief Warrant Officer 3 Lance Mundo (Safety Officer), Spec. Kevin Beaulier (Crew Chief), Spec. Matthew Baird (Crew Chief), Chief Warrant Officer 2 Joseph Ryan (Pilot), also holding Elvis statue (‘Elvis Lives’ is the Company’s motto), Sgt. Charles Speck (Intel Analyst), Chief Warrant Officer 5 Scott Moore (served as Operations Officer), Chief Warrant Officer 3 Eric Carver (Standards Instructor Pilot), Chief Warrant Officer 2 Ryan Swets (Pilot), Capt. Aaron Hooper (Company Commander), 1st Lt. Zachary Bell (Platoon Leader), and Staff Sgt. Adam Hahn.

“This training would benefit all aviators in the Army,” he said. “This test has given the Bearcat Co. an opportunity that other units will likely not experience, to exercise and perfect their tactics, techniques and procedures against real world threats, and not worrying about being shot down while they perfect their aviation skills against those threats.”

The six Bearcat pilots planned, briefed and executed assigned missions according to operational vignettes that either represented threats as autonomous or an integrated air defense system.

Additionally, Lt. Col. Scott Kruse, also an Apache pilot serving as the Rotary Wing Aircraft Division Chief, said, “Bearcats will be the Army’s experts at using the AN/APR-39D(V)2 for detecting and reacting to radio frequency (RF) threats.”

During the 15 days of test, data was collected to support the analysis of the operational effectiveness, suitability and survivability of the AN/APR-39D(V)2 for the materiel-release decision in fourth quarter fiscal year 2018.

The AN/APR-39D(V)2 RSDS’s next significant events are the cybersecurity testing and log demonstrations, to occur prior to a fielding decision in fiscal year 2018.
 

Pilots from 1st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade depart Inyokern Airport for their day-time mission on Electronic Combat Range (ECR) at Naval Air Weapons Station (NAWS) China Lake, Calif.




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