Boldly Beyond Voice-Only

Members of the California Air National Guard’s 129th Rescue Wing at Moffett Federal Air Field near San Jose, successfully demonstrated a prototype network-enabled situation awareness system for personnel recovery for the first time at US Joint Forces Command’s Bold Quest exercise. The wing sent 23 airmen and an MC-130P rescue aircraft to the coalition-centric exercise, which took place Oct. 27 to Nov. 5 at MCAS Cherry Point, N.C. They flew eight missions with the MC-130P acting as the airborne mission commander during the simulated recovery missions. The aircraft carried a data link capability evaluated in April that allows for the integration of air and ground forces during recovery operations. So-called “digitally aided personnel recovery” goes beyond the constraints of voice-only communications that rapidly become saturated during intense rescue operations due to the volume of information being passed, according to wing officials. (Moffett report by Capt. Alyson Teeter)