by Senior Airman Emmanuel Santiago
103rd Airlift Wing, Public Affairs
7/10/2014 - SEA GIRT, N.J. -- Airmen
from the 103rd Air Control Squadron deployed to the National Guard
Training Center here June 8 - 18 where they successfully established
remote connectivity to specific simulation systems located in
Connecticut, an achievement that, according to unit leadership, had
never been accomplished before by any air control squadron.
The deployment began with an advanced echelon team, or ADVON, led by Lt.
Col. John Breisler and 2nd Lt. Fred Bond, both assigned to the 103rd
ACS, which left for Sea Girt on June 5 to prepare for the arrival of the
bulk of the unit's Airmen, who departed on June 8.
"ADVON and main body convoy arrivals at the tactical site were smooth
and efficient," said Lt. Col. John Breisler, who served as the
deployment's chief of maintenance. "The convoy commanders managed their
respective convoys well; this is significant considering the number of
newer unit members in the convoys."
The mission was to deploy much of the unit's equipment and personnel via
convoy to establish a functional tactical site in the field. From there
the goal was to utilize radio, satellite and various theater deployable
communication systems to connect with multiple locations, including
their own home station in Orange, Connecticut, where some of the unit's
Airmen remained and participated.
The unit is trained and equipped to establish largely self-sufficient
tactical sites from which they provide command and control support to
military aircraft. From establishing generator power and building tents
from which to work, to connecting operations modules to remote radar
feeds and setting up on-site communications, a deployment like this is a
significant undertaking. But the men and women of the 103rd ACS are no
strangers to these tasks, having supported missions throughout Southwest
Asia in recent years.
The major challenge was establishing and maintaining connectivity with
the unit's Control and Reporting Center Simulation Package, commonly
referred to as the CSP, located back in Connecticut. The system enables
operators to remotely inject simulated aircraft and situations into
realistic tactical air control training scenarios so Airmen can interact
with them from the field.
After nine months of preparation and with 80 percent of the squadron
deployed in field conditions, the Airmen of the 103rd ACS were able to
establish the necessary connections, receiving data from the simulation
package and from as far away as Iowa to control two designated training
air spaces in which they created simulated midair scenarios such as
refueling, close air support and aircraft detection in the designated
"A team effort by dedicated professionals," said Lt. Col. William Neri, commander of the 103rd ACS.
Such a mission took effort from personnel of all ranks, including Airman
1st Class Kyle Romitti, a maintainer assigned to the squadron, who
along with his fellow Airmen took turns on three main shifts to monitor
the squadron's 24-hour satellite connectivity.
"It's interesting, and it's nice to know that we have such a big role in
what's going on here; without us, there's no communication," said
The unit's success in remotely connecting with their CSP will be
documented and eventually be used as a template for all air control
squadrons, said Breisler.
"There was no approved method of using the CRC Simulation Package for
field training before this deployment," said Breisler. "Thanks to a
tremendous amount of work from our folks, the 103rd ACS paved the way
for all active-duty and Guard units, our proven process will set the new