Predators Participate in Homeland Defense Exercise

Members of the California Air National Guard’s 163rd Reconnaissance Wing at March Air Reserve Base employed two MQ-1 Predator remotely piloted aircraft during exercise Grizzly Field 2012 to help with search and rescue efforts after a simulated earthquake struck southern California. The Predators provided full-motion video that helped civil and military responders locate mock stranded survivors during the recent exercise, according to an Aug. 9 March release. “The exercise was an overall success,” said Lt. Col. Keith Ward, commander of March’s 163rd Operations Support Squadron. Grizzly Field established a baseline for further integration of civilian disaster-response agencies with Air Guard assets and capabilities, such as overhead FMV, said Col. Randall Ball, 163rd RW commander. (March report by Capt. Perry Covington)