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379th AEW establishes command and control warning system capabilities at Accurate Test 22

  • Published
  • By U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Dana Tourtellotte
  • 379th Air Expeditionary Wing

Accurate Test 22, an Agile Combat Employment exercise, took place May 15 - 19, 2022. The exercise provided command and control operations (C2) from the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing, Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, the opportunity to simulate employing missile strike early warning capabilities for the first time, in a combat environment versus operating via remote warning systems.

“Every previous iteration of Accurate Test relied on established bases like Al Dhafra to warn of incoming ballistic missiles, we wanted to see if it was possible to localize that capability” said Senior Master Sgt. Edward Cartossa, a C2 operations specialist assigned to the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing.

Thirty six hours after setting up C2 operations at Thumrait Air Base, with a bare bones team of three Airmen, one being a multi-capable Airman from the command support staff career field, they conducted a test for the localized missile warning.

“We ran the test with the Combined Air Operations Center and we received a notification within less than a minute of when the CAOC identified the threat,” said Cartossa. “We were then able to push out a warning to all of Thumrait Air Base’s population within less than 5 minutes after receiving notification.”

Prior to conducting this test there had been no baseline established for this operation, but the expectation was to communicate the threat within five minutes. Without having this test to go by, the expectation of a five minute notification was high.

“What we were able to prove during this Accurate Test 22 was that the Agile Combat Employment concept, for us, will work,” said Cartossa. “We are capable of providing round the clock C2 operations without a large personnel footprint, without a pre-established facility, and in less time than was previously expected.”