Ardent Sentry '10 scans the sky above Savannah
May 18, 2010
SAVANNAH COMBAT READINESS TRAINING CENTER, Ga. (AFNS) – More than 250 Airmen, Soldiers, and Coast Guardsmen in Georgia, along with 380 Sailors on a destroyer off the Georgia coast, have begun 24-hour operations as a major air defense exercise kicked off May 16, 2010 here.
|SAVANNAH COMBAT READINESS TRAINING CENTER, Ga. - Soldiers and civilians erect an antenna tower May 13, 2010, that will be used during exercise Ardent Sentry '10 at the Combat Readiness Center in Savannah, Ga. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Allen Stokes)
Ardent Sentry '10 is a major North American Aerospace Defense Command air defense exercise directed by the Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The exercise tests a joint force Deployable-Integrated Air Defense System that consists of a Navy destroyer patrolling coastal waters, military fighters and helicopters, federal aircraft, and a ground-based missile defense system, said Col. Tim Sheriff, the Joint Task Force-Air and Missile Defense commander.
"For special events, this is an air defense system integrated between air, land and sea forces," Colonel Sheriff said. "It has a proven capability to defend homeland (airspace) against an air attack."
Military and federal personnel are working in close coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration as Air Force, Customs and Border Protection, Civil Air Patrol, Coast Guard, and National Guard fixed-wing and rotary aircraft take to the air in and around Savannah throughout the exercise.
Air Force F-16 pilots from the 20th Fighter Wing at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., are providing interdiction of high, fast targets of interest, while Savannah-based Coast Guard H-65 Dolphin helicopters and Customs and Border Protection aircraft are providing interdiction of TOIs flying low and slow.
The USS James E. Williams, a Navy Aegis-equipped destroyer, is patrolling more than 25 miles off the Georgia coast, utilizing radar and computer systems to track and detect TOIs.
Officials from the South Carolina Army National Guard's 263rd Army Air and Missile Defense Command have deployed Avenger short-range air defense and Sentinel ground-based radar systems in a perimeter around the area that will help detect and eliminate potential threats from the air.
"The Deployable-Integrated Air Defense System is a combination of the Navy destroyer, overhead Air Force fighters and the ground-based missiles," Colonel Sheriff said.
This is the second exercise of the D-IADS. The first one took place last year at Camp Rilea, Ore.
As the continental U.S. geographical component of the bi-national North American Aerospace Defense Command, Continental NORAD Region staff provide airspace surveillance and control and direct all air sovereignty activities.
From the 601st Air and Space Operations Center at Tyndall AFB, Fla., the CONR commander and his staff will direct Air Force, Army, Navy, and Coast Guard assets, ensuring the air sovereignty and air defense of the continental United States.
"This exercise provides us with the opportunity to train for potential scenarios which could affect the continental U.S.," said Maj. Gen. Garry Dean, the CONR commander. "Exercises like this allow us to review processes and procedures and focus our future training efforts to identifying areas that may need attention."
No live munitions will be used during the exercise. Air Force aircraft pilots will not fly at night; however, there will be some night flying by members of the Civil Air Patrol.
The exercise will continue through May 20.