Trial by Sea Salt

A-10 pilots from Air Force Reserve Command’s 47th Fighter Squadron at Barksdale AFB, La., tested a new helmet-mounted situation display and a new survival radio in simulated combat during the RIMPAC maritime exercise off the coast of Hawaii. Known as Scorpion, the full-color helmet display indicates a target’s position on the ground or in the air without requiring the pilot to break visual contact with his surroundings. “This system has greatly enhanced situational awareness and the ability to target more dynamically and quickly,” said Lt. Col. Robin Sandifer, a 47th FS pilot, in a July 27 release. The second piece of new hardware, the Lightweight Airborne Recovery System, allows searchers to more easily locate a crash. “We hit a button, it interrogates the radio . . . and we know exactly where [the downed airmen] are,” explained Lt. Col. Tom McNurlin of the Air National Guard Air Force Reserve Command Test Center in Tucson, Ariz. RIMPAC runs through Aug. 3. (Pearl Harbor-Hickam report by MSgt. Mary Hinson) (See also Warthogs Rock the Boat.)