FAIRBORN, Ohio --
Members of the 269th Combat Communications Squadron, Springfield Ohio Air National Guard base are providing communications support for Air Force Research Laboratory’s Tech Warrior 2017 exercise at the National Center for Medical Readiness, Fairborn Ohio Sept. 19-29, 2017.
The support includes providing power, air conditioning and communications through land mobile radios.
“The idea of Tech Warrior is really two-fold,” said Lt. Col. David Shahady, exercise commander. “A lot of our scientists and engineers within the Air Force and our acquisition personnel have very little background in what the operational world truly feels like. So the idea is to immerse them into an operational environment so they can walk in the shoes of the war fighter and know what that feels like.”
Shahady continues. “The second part is while that is all going on, it’s a great time to test out all the advanced technology that are out here and bring instructors in to teach the students, at the same time that the technology is here so the operators, students, and technologists all kind of clash together at the same time and can come up with some innovative solutions and test and evaluate solutions that we already came up with.”
The 269 CBCS provided all the land mobile radios (LMR) as well as programmed them all so all participants could communicate with each other. They also provided power and air conditioning for the exercise which proved invaluable considering the late September heat wave with multiple days topping 90 degrees.
The 269 CBCS set up and maintains five generators, seven environmental control units and 25 radios for the exercise. They also provide 24/7 support to troubleshoot issues and ensure generators keep operating.
The services provided by the 269 CBCS help create as realistic as possible of an environment to what they would see if deployed to a war zone.
“Everything from the infrastructure up was exactly what you would see in theater and the amount of technology we now have been able to test is a result of the combat communications squadron being here,” said Shahady. “We’ve almost been able to triple or quadruple the amount of technology because the infrastructure is now so robust.”
This was the third year that the 269 CBCS has supported this exercise.
“As an exercise commander,” said Shahady, what the 269th has put in place, has empowered me to be a better leader in this position.” I don’t think that I could go back to leading this type of thing without this infrastructure.”
The exercise provides the opportunity for those creating the technology to go through scenarios like convoy, medical and disaster response, giving them to see how effective their technologies function in a real-world environment.
Approximately 30 different new technologies are being tested during the exercise.