First Ever War Game To Evaluate ANG Capabilities
Having the right equipment and the right capabilities can save
lives in a domestic emergency, and that's why nearly 100 Air
National Guard domestic operations experts from across the nation
are gathering in Arlington, VA, Feb. 23-24, in the first ever
"Aviation Support for Domestic Operations" war game.
The two-day, capabilities-based assessment will draw subject
matter and planning experts into two, regional-based scenarios to
investigate the value of National Guard-operated light, manned,
fixed-wing aviation platforms into the Air Guard's domestic
operations capabilities. "If we can capture this data, we can show
their dual use domestically and overseas," said Air Force Maj.
Andrew Platt of the Air Guard's Requirements Integration
Air Guard officials said these aviation support platforms can
make all the difference to emergency responders. Some platforms
provide intelligence awareness and assessment, ISR (Intelligence,
Surveillance and Reconnaissance), command and control,
communications and light airlift, but officials here want to
measure and analyze the performance of light, manned, fixed-wing
aviation platforms to determine their potential to the states and
In the past, successful missions were flown after Hurricane
Katrina with the Guard's RC-26 ISR aircraft. In 2008, those same
light, manned, fixed-wing aviation platforms were used with success
in firefighting operations and most notably during the Midwest
floods that involved six states.
There, aircraft from West Virginia and Mississippi were
dispatched to help in a multi-agency response. They flew valuable
ISR missions over the flooded areas and relayed information to help
repair critical infrastructure.
The war game here, said Platt, is designed to characterize and
quantify the demand for those types of missions as well other
manmade disasters. It will also establish domestic aviation
requirements for the Air Guard. "We will break those 100 folks into
teams based on FEMA region, and present them with scenarios that
increase in complexity as the war game goes on," said Platt.
Post-war game analysts here will then look at each platform's
use and compare it to the Air Guard's capabilities. This process
will help Air Guard officials find gaps and seams in their current
Another mission, officials said, is to examine a "global
military operations environment to find synergies between those
domestic capabilities." The RC-26 platform is another good example,
because it provides tactical intelligence and manned tactical ISR
to warfighters overseas, but is also used by the Guard in domestic
counter-drug missions and other support to the governors.
Such capabilities must be examined by the field, officials said,
and the war game provides the platform to make that possible.
ANN Salutes Master Sgt. Mike Smith, National Guard Bureau