Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors to conduct air defense exercise

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AFNS) -- An Oregon National Guard base will host nearly 200 Soldiers and Airmen, and a U.S. Navy destroyer will patrol coastal waters while participating in a major U.S. Northern Command air defense exercise in mid-June.

Exercise Amalgam Dart '09 will take place at Camp Rilea and nearby Warrenton, Ore., June 18 to 20. It is one of several exercises under the Ardent Sentry '09 exercise series.

Local residents will see a minor influx of people and equipment moving into and out of the Warrenton and Camp Rilea areas a few days before and after the actual exercise starts and ends.

As the continental U.S. geographical component of the bi-national North American Aerospace Defense Command, Continental U.S. NORAD Region personnel provide airspace surveillance and control and direct all air sovereignty activities.

From their Air and Space Operations Center here, the CONR commander and his staff will direct Air Force, Army and Navy assets, ensuring the air sovereignty and air defense of the continental United States.

During Amalgam Dart '09, CONR participants will demonstrate a rapidly deployable air defense system that could protect high-profile national targets against cruise missiles and other low-flying threats.

Deployable-Homeland Air and Cruise Missile Defense assets will be brought from South Carolina to Camp Rilea and Warrenton where they will remain for the duration of the exercise.

"Exercise Amalgam Dart '09 provides us with the opportunity to train and for potential scenarios that could affect the continental U.S.," said Maj. Gen. Hank Morrow, CONR commander. "Exercises like this allow us to review processes and procedures and focus our future training efforts to identifying areas that may need attention. "

Participants in Amalgam Dart '09:

-- The Oregon National Guard's Camp Rilea will provide logistical support, including lodging and meals.

-- F-15 Eagles from the Oregon Air National Guard's 142nd Fighter Wing in Portland and F-16 Fighting Falcons from the California Air National Guard's 144th FW in Fresno will serve as interceptors during the exercise. They will operate out of the Portland airport and from McChord Air Force Base, Wash., respectively.

-- South Carolina National Guard's 263rd Army Air and Missile Defense Command from Anderson will deploy the Avenger short-range air defense system.

-- U.S. Navy Aegis-equipped destroyer which uses computers and radars to track and destroy enemy targets will patrol off the Oregon coast.

-- An E-3 Sentry from the Air Force's 552nd Air Control Wing at Tinker AFB, Okla., will provide all-weather surveillance, command, control and communications needed by air defense forces.

-- Rhode Island ANG's 282nd Combat Communications Squadron and Georgia ANG's 283rd Combat Communications Squadron will deploy communication teams to provide secure data and voice networks for the exercise.

-- The Western Air Defense Sector, based at McChord AFB, Wash., will detect, identify, track and scramble fighters if need be to intercept unknown or threatening airborne objects.

-- C-21s from the 311th Airlift Squadron at Peterson AFB, Colo., and the Air Force Flights Standards Agency in Oklahoma City , and Oregon Wing of the Civil Air Patrol Cessna 172s will serve as high and low-level "targets'" for the exercise participants.

There will be no night flying by Air Force and Air National Guard aircraft, while there will be some night flying by the Civil Air Patrol.

Additionally, there will be no live munitions involved in the exercise.