Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | Jan. 26, 2022

3rd ASOS Participates in Command and Control Exercise

By Senior Airman Emily Farnsworth Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Public Affairs

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- Detachment 1, 3rd Air Support Operations Squadron (ASOS) participated in Exercise POLAR QUAKE Jan. 11 through 13 throughout Alaska.

POLAR QUAKE was held at stations on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Eielson Air Force Base, and Utqiaġvik, and was designed as a proof-of-concept to demonstrate the Tactical Air Control Party’s (TACP) ability to provide a command and control, or C2, network to enhance the ability to find, fix, track, target, engage, and assess in the Arctic environment.

The TACP mission set provides an air-to-ground communication link that supports joint integration and precision strike redundancy. This supports a combined forces air component commander’s mission by providing real-time updates, which enhances decision-making capabilities.

“As TACPs, our mission revolves around two primary functions - providing forward command and control for higher headquarters and integrating airpower and joint forces,” said Senior Master Sgt. Thomas Jenn, the 3rd ASOS senior enlisted leader. “This exercise challenged our command and control function, which is something that hasn’t been as commonly requested in recent conflicts, and may have been a capability forgotten by some. With the recent Department of Defense and Air Force Arctic Strategy, and the new Agile Combat Employment concept, our career field has the opportunity to show our other core capabilities.”

Jenn said that the training also demonstrated the ASOS’ ability to conduct the ACE concept in the Arctic by testing their ability to provide fire support from any aircraft, indirect fire platform, or naval surface fire support if the situation called for it.

The ACE concept is based on the idea of small groups of multi-capable Airmen spread out over a large austere area to improve maneuverability.
“General [Charles] Brown recently signed Air Force Doctrine Note 1-21, which says ‘ACE consists of five core elements: posture, C2, movement and maneuver, protection, and sustainment,’” Jenn said. “Exercise POLAR QUAKE demonstrated that the TACP weapon system can employ our two primary missions of C2 and integrating airpower and joint fires in support of three of the five core elements anywhere in the [area of responsibility].”

During the exercise, TACP’s tested their abilities in the Arctic by creating C2 hubs at their stations, allowing them to conduct training missions and provide real-time situational awareness and battlefield updates. This training, with support of the 5th ASOS and 25th ASOS, allowed them to pass radio messages from Utqiaġvik to an air operations center in Hawaii, more than 3,000 miles away, within minutes.

Airmen with the ASOS also practiced Humvee maneuvers near the Arctic circle, airborne operations at JBER, and mounted and dismounted movements near Utqiaġvik. Utqiaġvik, formerly known as Barrow, is the northernmost town in the U.S., and hosted the exercise’s all-weather manned sensor, providing real-time situational awareness for the Air Operations Center.

Throughout POLAR QUAKE, the focus on the Arctic and the cold stayed at the forefront of the 3rd ASOS Airmen’s minds.

“Conducting challenging training in the extreme environment of the arctic puts our training and equipment to the test and requires careful planning of all components of an operation,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Travis Hunt, the 3rd ASOS Operations Flight commander. “Fortunately we are in the perfect location to develop and maintain the knowledge and skills needed to overcome these challenges in training so that if the time comes to fight in the Arctic we can focus on the enemy and not just the environment.”

Alaska’s lack of infrastructure also posed an obstacle for the ASOS to overcome.

“With the limited infrastructure common in the Arctic, we needed to test current equipment to identify its effectiveness through the extreme Alaska environment,” Jenn said. “The extreme temperatures make the simplest tasks more challenging, which can quickly escalate to threaten mission accomplishment, or create life-or-death scenarios due to difficult terrain and vast distances away from support.”

Throughout the challenges the unit faced, they learned key areas to focus on training.

“During this exercise and others we have completed this year we have continued raising the bar for our team,” Hunt said. “By providing challenging problem sets that require adaptive problem solving, we are building new skillsets and identifying areas that still require development.”

Overall, Jenn said the exercise demonstrated the TACP’s ability to work in a contested degraded environment.

“As an individual, it was awesome to see our team take on the challenge, and know success is good, but friction and failures throughout the exercise are also successes, by highlighting deficiencies and areas we need to improve upon,” said Jenn.

CONNECT WITH USINDOPACOM
Facebook

Like Us
Twitter
324,268
Follow Us

ENGAGE & CONNECT MORE WITH PACOM

                                                 

IN THE USINDOPACOM NEWS
Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast Returns Home After 55-day Counter Narcotics Patrol
The crew of U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast takes a photograph in Manzanillo, Mexico, with two men they rescued during a deployment in the Eastern Pacific Ocean June 10, 2022. The men were lost at sea for 23 days after their vessel was beset by weather. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Seaman Brad O'Brien)
June 24, 2022 - ASTORIA, Ore. — The United States Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast (WMEC 623) returned to homeport Saturday following a 55-day counter narcotics deployment to the Eastern Pacific Ocean.The 210-foot medium endurance cutter and...

Army Alaska National Guard, HHC 297th Regional Support Group Soldiers Contribute To Role Playing Operations During Khaan Quest 2022
On June 20, 2022, Khan Quest 2022 ended with the official closing ceremony. Over the past two weeks Mongolian Armed Forces (MAF) hosted 15 nations in this 18th iteration of the exercise. By participating in Khaan Quest, nations were able to showcase their resolve in peacekeeping missions around the world.

Soldiers, Spc. Hunter Mains and Spc. Kyle Johnson with the Army Alaska National Guard, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 297th Regional Support Group contributed a major role in CPX operations which had them role play in several different scenarios. 

Both Soldiers also participated at the end of the exercise mock press conference. The press conference is designed to prepare peacekeepers and military leaders for questions that may be asked of them during stressful situations. Johnson and Mains roleplayed as journalists asking the questions. 

Pictured here the CPX participants listen to the news conference brief given by the military leadership in a role playing scenerio.
June 23, 2022 - Mongolia -- On June 20, 2022, Khan Quest 2022 ended with the official closing ceremony. Over the past two weeks Mongolian Armed Forces (MAF) hosted 15 nations in this 18th iteration of the exercise. By participating in Khaan...

Juneteenth Celebrated by Department of the Air Force Leaders in Pentagon’s First Official Ceremony
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr., speaks to a crowd of attendees during a Juneteenth Celebration at the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., June 21, 2022. Brown’s message highlighted the importance of promoting an inclusive culture for all Airmen and Guardians to be able to serve to their fullest potential. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Elora J. McCutcheon)
June 22, 2022 - ARLINGTON, Va. (AFNS) -- Hundreds gathered to celebrate the Juneteenth holiday through song, dance, poetry and storytelling at the first official Juneteenth ceremony held at the Pentagon June 21.  Attended by...

Pacific Partnership Kicks Off in Vietnam
PHU YEN, VIETNAM (June 20, 2022) – Captain Hank Kim, Pacific Partnership 2022 mission commander, left, delivers remarks during the Pacific Partnership Vietnam opening ceremony. Now in its 17th year, Pacific Partnership is the largest annual multinational humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Brandie Nuzzi)
June 21, 2022 - PHU YEN, Vietnam -- Now in its 17th year, Pacific Partnership is the largest annual multinational humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Pacific. In Vietnam, the Pacific...

SECNAV Visits Innovative Forward Deployed Marines and Sailors with MRF-D 22
U.S. Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro greets U.S. Marine Corps Col. Christopher Steele, the commanding officer of Marine Rotational Force-Darwin (MRF-D) 22, during a visit with MRF-D 22 at Royal Australian Air Force Base Darwin, June 18, 2022. Secretary Del Toro visited Marines and Sailors with MRF-D 22 and Australian Defence Force personnel as part of the Indo-Pacific battlefield circulation. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Emeline Molla)
June 21, 2022 - DARWIN, AUSTRALIA. – The Honorable Carlos Del Toro, the 78th Secretary of the Navy, visited Marines and Sailors with the Marine Rotational Force-Darwin (MRF-D) on June 18.As part of a battlefield circulation tour in the...