Local

August 10, 2012

Grizzly Field Exercise 2012 prepares for the unexpected

Tags:
by Capt. Perry Covington
163rd Reconnaissance Wing public affairs
Grizzly Field Exercies 2012
The 163rd Reconnaissance Wing participated in the Grizzly Field Exercise, July 25. During spin-up of the exercise, the intensity of focus was easily observed in the Predator Operations Center (POC) at March Air Reserve Base Calif., as members of the 163d RW hovered over computer monitors and flight plans in final preparation for GFX 12. (National Guard Photo / Tech. Sgt. Neil S. Ballecer)

The ground rumbled beneath your feet. Dishes in the kitchen crashed on the floor and bookshelves toppled over. You gathered your family and hurried to safest location in the house. The wrenching tremor finally subsided and you took stock of the damage. You picked the television up off the floor, tried to turn it on, but realized the power was out. As you peered out the fractured window, telephone poles and trees laid across the street as though they were ejected from the ground. A deafening chorus of car alarms blared incessantly, nearly drowning out the cries of people calling out for help. You just experienced what Californians are all too aware of, an earthquake. No one knows when or where it will strike next, so emergency officials continually exercise their skills to ensure they are prepared to respond when strikes occur.

To prepare for such calamities, the 163rd Reconnaissance Wing and local emergency officials partnered to plan and execute Grizzly Field Exercise 2012, or GFX 12.

The scope of the exercise included a simulated earthquake in Southern California with damage to the infrastructure, numerous injuries, and some fatalities. The 163d RW engaged with its primary platform, the MQ-1 Predator, and was tasked with providing full motion video to the State Joint Operations Center, 234th Intelligence Squadron, Non-governmental agencies, Northern Command, and the 601st Air Operations Center in support of a search and rescue mission for possible survivors.

Col. Randall Ball, commander, 163d RW said, “It was extremely rewarding to see the integration of California Joint Operations Center into the Command and Control for interagency disaster response. This exercise established a baseline for further integration of civilian response agencies and through the use of two Predators, was able to establish a large full motion video footprint that was accessible by all military and civilian disaster relief communities.”

During spin-up of the exercise, the intensity of focus was easily observed in the Predator Operations Center (POC) at March Air Reserve Base Calif., as members of the 163d RW hovered over computer monitors and flight plans in final preparation for GFX 12.

The exercise highlighted the Remotely Piloted Aircraft capabilities in a domestic operation setting. These types of DOMOPS include search and rescue, counter-drug and border operations, disaster response and Department of Homeland Security support. The operation also showcased the benefits of the synergistic relationships between the Army National Guard, the Air National Guard, the State Military Reserve, and civilian agencies.

“At a federal level, we are always looking to use all assets available, the marriage between the different entities within each state pays dividends,” said Major Dawn Junk, Chief of Domestic Operations & Special Missions. “We need to constantly scan for all components available to make an operation of this scale a success.”

Two military members playing the role of ‘survivors’ were flown via helicopter to an Army training facility at Fort Irwin in Barstow Calif., where they were dropped off and told remain until rescued. Next, predator pilots based at March ARB, launched their aircraft via satellite, to the coordinates of the simulated earthquake area. The MQ-1, specially equipped for aerial reconnaissance, found their target, sent FMV back to the JOC and soon after, a rescue helicopter was dispatched to pick up the stranded survivors.

“The exercise was an overall success,” said Lt. Col. Keith Ward, commander, 163rd Operations Support Squadron. “A lot of planning and test runs preceded this exercise to help prepare us. I think all of our hard work has paid off. As with any exercise we have some good lessons learned that we can refine but the intent of the exercise was met with dazzling results.”

GFX 12 was the result of several months of preparation and practice. Earlier in the year the 163d RW participated in the Ardent Sentry exercise which also focused on defense support of civil entities during a crisis situation, culminating in the successful joint execution of GFX 12.

“Working with the Army National Guard and State Military Reserve personnel has been extremely helpful on the communications side,” said Tech. Sgt. Robert Davis, 163d RW network administrator and communications lead for GFX 12. “They bring capabilities and experience that have been invaluable to the success of GFX 12. RPA operation has a large communications piece and we have been prepping for the exercise for over a month and half. At every step of the way, the support we have received from our ARNG and SMR counterparts has been exceptional.”

These powerful platforms are the future. Remotely piloted aircraft are critical to our nation’s diverse missions overseas and their application as a viable tool in the disaster response realm on our own soil. With public safety and the safeguarding of civil liberties at the forefront of any RPA operation the National Guard is ready and proud to provide a unique capability to the state and the nation.

During Grizzly Field Exercise 2012, the 163rd Reconnaissance Wing engaged with its primary platform, the MQ-1 Predator, and was tasked with providing full motion video to the State Joint Operations Center, 234th Intelligence Squadron, Non-governmental agencies, Northern Command, and the 601st Air Operations Center in support of a search and rescue mission for possible survivors. The exercise was a proof of concept for domestic operations in assisting with disaster response. The joint exercise marked a pivotal turning point for cross agency involvement with the Army National Guard, State Military Reserve, and civilian agencies. (National Guard Photo / Tech. Sgt. Neil S. Ballecer)




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo/Megan Crusher

‘The Spirit of Ronald Reagan’ gets nose art

U.S. Air Force photo/Megan Crusher Col. Russell Muncy, commander, 452nd Air Mobility Wing, March Air Reserve Base, California, and U.S. Congressman Ken Calvert, California’s 42nd district, unveil C-17 original nose art, creat...
 
 
AFN courtesy photo

Hollywood’s Oscar shout outs for U.S. military

AFN courtesy photo From left, Eric Gabriel, Army Maj. Rosy Poulos, Patrice “Rock” Grant, Air Force Staff Sgt. Rob Harden and Fabian Montgomery, American Forces Network employees, work the red carpet at the Oscars to provide...
 
 

452 AMW QUARTERLY AWARD WINNERS

2nd Lt. Jim Lambert, 452nd Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron Company Grade Officer of the Quarter Senior Airman Anahi Ledezma, 452nd Communications Squadron Airman of the Quarter Staff Sgt. Paul Bugar, 729th Airlift Squadron NCO of the Quarter Master Sgt. John R. Hershey Jr., 752nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron SNCO of the Quarter
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo / Megan Crusher

March Field FES hosts Riverside County Chief’s Association meeting

U.S. Air Force photo / Megan Crusher Eliot M. Cooper (center), assistant fire chief and C. Christianson (left), assistant chief of training, give Patrick Reitz, fire chief, Idyllwild Fire Protection District, a tour of the Marc...
 
 
163rd Security Forces Squadron courtesy photo

March Airmen respond to helicopter crash

163rd Security Forces Squadron courtesy photo A UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter rests on its side at Ramona Airport, Ramona, California, Jan. 20, 2015, after crashing. Seven Airmen from the 163rd Reconnaissance Wing’s Security For...
 
 
Figure-2

Dietary supplements: How safe are they really?

Walk into a health food store today and you can be overwhelmed by shelves piled with dietary supplements. What’s going on? For the past ten years the popularity of dietary supplements has increased steadily. Supplements are a...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin