NEWS | Aug. 22, 2019

38th Air Defense Artillery Brigade Maintains 'Fight Tonight' Readiness

By Sgt. Raquel Villalona

SAGAMIHARA, Japan -- With the onset of recent events, 'Fight Tonight' readiness remains a top priority in the Pacific Region. Especially to those involved in counter measures.

Soldiers with U.S. Army Japan and 38th Air Defense Artillery Brigade received first-hand experience with that imperative as they participated in Shodan Watch, a training exercise designed to ensure operational readiness in a simulated tactical environment at Sagami General Depot, Aug. 1-20.

"Applying a simulated tactical scenario during training prepares us for realistic and accurate wartime environments," said Sgt. Camden Shoults, Indianapolis, Indiana native, air defense battle management system operator, 38th ADA Brigade. "When maintaining a 'Fight Tonight' mindset, it is essential that all Soldiers know their individual and team responsibilities during increased operations tempo."

Leadership set out realistic and achievable goals to maintain and improve proficiency across multiple domains.

"Being a new unit in Japan and this being our first exercise here, our mission was to define roles and rehearse processes with U.S. Army Japan, 1st Battalion, 1st Air Defense Artillery, and other joint forces to establish a cohesive work environment," said Sgt. 1st Class Galen E. Corbell, Waco, Texas native, AD battle management noncommissioned officer, 38th ADA Brigade. "This exercise was a great opportunity to merge our capabilities and allow others to learn what we do as a unit."

U.S. Army's Space and Missile Defense Command Chief Lt. Gen. James Dickinson highlighted a strategy built around an air and missile defense force that aligns with the Army's wider goal to have a fully modernized force executing multidomain operations in a recent Defense News article. The strategy is meant to ensure AMD forces can protect maneuvering ground forces and defend critical assets while creating "windows of superiority" in the air so that the joint force can gain access.

Shodan Watch provided the opportunity for 38th ADA Brigade to align their capabilities with adjoining units in order to do just that.

"Training on the Air and Missile Defense Planning and Control System shelter and supporting systems is imperative for Soldier skills development," said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Keon Ellison, Brooklyn, New York native, command and control systems technician, 38th ADA Brigade. "Many of the AMDPCS system operators are new to the Army, so classes and rehearsals serve to fill the gap of technical knowledge after transitioning from AIT (Advance Individual Training) to their first unit."

The AMDPCS provides an automated command and control system which integrates air and missile defense planning and operations through the use of radar and weapon systems analysis and emplacement locations based on critical and defended asset prioritization.

"This was a great opportunity for air defenders to receive training on the latest equipment that supports our mission and provides situational awareness to the commander and our partners," said Ellison.