McCHORD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. – Local residents may see an increase in air activity during daylight hours June 18-20 as Air National Guard fighters “scramble” during a major North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command air defense exercise.
Exercise Amalgam Dart 2009 combines Army and Air National Guard, active duty Air Force and Navy units from around the country into a layered, mobile and integrated air defense system capable of defending a simulated high profile national event on the Northwest Oregon coast against simulated cruise missiles and other low-flying threats.
F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 144th Fighter Wing, Fresno, Calif. Air National Guard, a U.S. Air Force E-3 Sentry Air Warning and Control System aircraft from the 552nd Air Control Wing, Tinker AFB, Okla., and C-21 Learjets from the 311th Airlift Squadron from Peterson AFB, Colo., and Air Force Flights Standards Agency in Oklahoma City will stage locally at McChord AFB. F-15 Eagles from the Oregon ANG’s 142nd Fighter Wing will fly sorties out of the Portland International Airport.
The South Carolina National Guard’s 263rd Army Air and Missile Defense Command, Rhode Island ANG’s 282nd, and Georgia’s 283rd Combat Communications Squadrons will deploy to the Oregon National Guard’s Camp Rilea, near Warrenton, Oregon. A U.S. Navy Aegis-equipped destroyer will participate off the Oregon coast. The Washington ANG’s Western Air Defense Sector will detect, identify and track targets, and will employ fighters and surface based assets as needed to intercept them.
Amalgam Dart 2009 is one of several exercises under Ardent Sentry ’09, a U.S. Northern Command event to practice homeland defense and support to civil authorities.
“This exercise provides us with the opportunity to train and for potential scenarios that could affect the Continental United States,” said Maj. Gen. Hank Morrow, Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command Region commander.
“Exercises like this allow us to review processes and procedures and focus our future training efforts to identifying areas that may need attention,” he said.
During Amalgam Dart ’09, WADS will electronically link all players into a common operating picture while directing defensive air operations for the exercise. At the same time, WADS will continue to conduct its real world mission of defending the airspace over the western three quarters of the Continental United States.
Fighters will engage in simulated air sovereignty and counter-air operations against targets played by the C-21s. The intercepts will take place over the Southwest Washington and Northwest Oregon coast.
The AWACS will provide airborne command and control.
The 263rd Army Air and Missile Defense Command will engage in ground-based air defense.
The 282nd and 283rd Combat Communications Squadrons will provide critical connectivity between all the units’ mission systems for voice, radar and data link communications.
A U.S. Navy Aegis-equipped destroyer will employ its powerful radars to track targets and to guide simulated missile shots while patrolling off the Oregon coast.
For more information regarding Amalgam Dart ’09 at Camp Rilea, Ore., please contact Al Eakle, CONR Public Affairs at 850-276-8855.
For more information regarding WADS involvement in Amalgam Dart ’09, please contact Lt. Col. Patrick Pietrowski, Chief of Staff at 253-982-4520, Capt. Lisa Dowling, WADS Public Affairs at 253-982-4372; or 2nd Lt. Casey Robbins, WADS Public Affairs at: 253-982-4372.