NY Air National Guard Unit Participates in Air Defense Exercise

Eastern Air Defense Sector training with NORAD, NORTHCOM this week

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New York Air National Guard Capt. Chris Crumb, a Weapons Controller at the Eastern Air Defense Sector, simulates controlling a mission.

ROME, NY (05/17/2010)(readMedia)-- The New York Air National Guard's Eastern Air Defense Sector (EADS) is participating in a large scale North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command air defense exercise designed to train military members to respond to potential scenarios that could affect the Continental U.S. May 16-20.

EADS is performing its homeland defense mission of detecting, identifying, tracking and possibly scrambling aircraft. Although held in Georgia, members from the unit will control the exercise missions from Rome, N.Y.

"EADS has been involved in every aspect of planning for this exercise," said Lt. Col. David Bartczak, an Operations Flight Commander at EADS. "We've been attending meetings and coordinating on documentation for almost a year. We will be providing air sovereignty and executing counter-air operations over Savannah."

The exercise is part of Ardent Sentry 10, a Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff-directed, NORAD-NORTHCOM-sponsored homeland defense and defense support of civil authorities exercise. Deployable-Integrated Air Defense System (D-IADS) assets will be brought from South Carolina to the Savannah area where they will remain throughout the duration of the exercise.

D-IADS will be used to demonstrate a rapidly deployable air defense system that could protect high profile national targets against cruise missiles and other low-flying threats. The system is operated by Soldiers of the 263rd Army Air and Missile Defense Command located in South Carolina.

For air defense controllers at EADS, working with D-IADS increases coordination between the unit and ground-based air defense units, said Colonel Bartczak.

More than 200 Soldiers, Airmen, and Coast Guardsmen are involved in the exercise based at the Savannah Air National Guard Base. Also, a U.S. Navy destroyer will patrol Georgia coastal waters, and military fighters and helicopters and federal aircraft will cruise the skies while participating.

Close coordination will be maintained with the Federal Aviation Administration throughout the exercise as Air Force, Customs and Border Protection and Civil Air Patrol, along with U.S. Coast Guard and National Guard jets, fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters fly in the local area.

Air Force F-16s will provide interdiction of high and fast aircraft while a Customs and Border Protection Cessna Citation (C-550) and USCG H-65 Dolphin helicopters will be responsible for the interdiction of low and slow aircraft.

The U.S.S. James E. Wilson (DDG-95), a U.S. Navy Aegis-equipped destroyer which uses computers and radars to track and destroy enemy targets, is currently scheduled to participate in the exercise. The ship will patrol out to sea off the Georgia coast.

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.

EADS provides air sovereignty and executes counter-air operations over the eastern United States through the employment of 193 sensors, 8 fighter alert locations, Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft, a Battle Control Center (BCC) and joint air defense artillery assets to defend 1 million square miles, 16 major cities and adjacent seas.

File Photo Caption:

New York Air National Guard Capt. Chris Crumb, a Weapons Controller at the Eastern Air Defense Sector, simulates controlling a mission. Photo by Brooke Davis.