Defense

August 14, 2013

Training pods produce knowledge, keeps war fighters sharp

A Navy F/A-18 Hornet from the 113th Fighter Squadron, Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif., takes off for a familiarization flight Aug. 9, 2013, from Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. The F/A-18 is a twin-engine supersonic multirole fighter jet designed for air-to-air and air-to-ground combat.

 

Keeping track of 60 aircraft from U.S. and allied partners during a two-week exercise could seem to be an impossible task especially in a training space the size of Florida.

To help with the giant task of tracking and collecting data, fighter aircraft are equipped with Air Combat Maneuver Instrument Pods to track actions ensuring pilots can learn from their flying experience and sharpen their war fighting skills.

The ACMI pods, which look similar to the typical air-to-air missile in dimensions, collect data as the aircraft negotiate training scenarios in the 64,000-acre Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex while participating in Red Flag-Alaska. Back on the ground, the information is dissected and used to debrief the crew on what they did well and what they could improve on – education being the key.

“Every participating jet gets a pod,” said Randy Robertson a contractor from Bering Sea Environmental North, the company that provides and mounts the pods. “These 140-pound units are key to training. They give pilots the opportunity to learn from their mistakes and others.”

Robertson compared the information to a scene in the movie ”Top Gun” where Navy pilots are debriefed about their performance.
 

Wes Dear attaches an air-combat maneuver instrument pod to a Japan Air-Self Defense Force F-15J Eagle Aug. 8, 2013, at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. The pods are attached to aircraft to help monitor movement during flights, which can be reviewed during post-flight briefings. Dear is an electronic technician with Bering Sea Environmental North.

 
“This system is similar to the green shapes pilots saw in the film; however, our system is state-of-the-art,” he said.

With five countries and almost every branch of the U.S. military flying simulated combat sorties in a realistic threat environment, this information becomes invaluable on a daily basis.

“The ACMI brings all the time and money spent on sorties to fruition,” said Maj. Sam Stitt, the 354th Combat Training Squadron operations division chief. “We are able to take the information and accurately debrief.”

Stitt said some information can be lost with the fast-paced environment of Red Flag and describes the action in the field as chaotic.

“Debriefing is like a film study in football,” he said. “Every player has a job and even though you can’t replace hands-on flying, it’s extremely valuable to review information from the outside.”

 




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


 
 

 

Headlines July 28, 2014

News: U.S. has lost track of weapons given to Afghanistan - The United States supplied almost three quarter of a million weapons to Afghanistan’s army and police since 2004, but the military cannot track where many of those arms have gone, a new report found. Bill to improve VA has $17 billion price tag - A bipartisan...
 
 

News Briefs July 28, 2014

Marines seek authorization for dolphin deaths The Marine Corps is asking for a five-year authorization from the National Marine Fisheries Service for incidental deaths of bottlenose dolphins during training exercises at a bombing and target range. The Sun Journal of New Bern, N.C., reports that Connie Barclay of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says...
 
 
Army photograph by David Vergun

Senior leaders explain Army’s drawdown plan

Army photograph by David Vergun No commander is happy when notified that a soldier from his or her command has been identified for early separation. But commanders personally notify those Soldiers and ensure participation in th...
 

 

Northrop Grumman awarded mission support services contract

The U.S. Army awarded Northrop Grumman a cost-plus-fixed-fee contract, with a potential value of $205 million, to continue providing mission logistics services in support of combat brigades training at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Calif. The contract covers one base year and two one-year options. Support will include the full range of mission...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph by Beth Groom

F-35 Rollout Marks U.S.-Australia Partnership Milestone

Lockheed Martin photograph by Beth Groom Royal Australian Air Force Air Marshal Geoff Brown delivers his remarks at the roll out ceremony for Australia’s first F-35. The official rollout of the first two F-35 Lightning II...
 
 
NASA/JPL-Caltech image

NASA’s Mars spacecraft maneuvers to prepare for close comet flyby

NASA/JPL-Caltech image This graphic depicts the orbit of comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring as it swings around the sun in 2014. On Oct. 19, the comet will have a very close pass at Mars. Its nucleus will miss Mars by about 82,000 m...
 




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>