by Tech Sgt. Marizol Ruiz
156th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
12/10/2015 - AGUADILLA, Puerto Rico -- Airmen
from the Georgia Air National Guard and the Puerto Rico Air National
Guard teamed up to control aircraft from deployed radar during exercise
Caribbean Connection here, Nov. 9 - 20.
The 141st Air Control Squadron, Puerto Rico ANG hosted 99 Airmen from
the 117th Air Control Squadron and 12 Airmen from the 283rd Combat
Communications Squadron, both with the Georgia ANG, to pull live feeds
and provide operational control from three remote sites.
The mobile equipment to be set up in a tactical environment in Puerto
Rico was flown in on three separate C-130 Hercules aircraft and one C-17
Globemaster III cargo plane.
The deployed radar was tied into three different sites to create an
aggressive communications triad exercise, and an operational exercise to
control aircraft off the coast of Georgia. The exercise was based at
the 141st Air Control Squadron's Punta Borinquen Radar Site in Ramey,
Aguadilla, with remote locations in Camp Santiago Joint Maneuver
Training Center in Salinas, and Savannah, Georgia.
"Caribbean Connection is what my unit named it," said Chief Master Sgt.
Eric Anderson, Branch Chief for the GANG. "We came down from Savannah
Georgia and set up deployed radar, where we could reach back to Savannah
with live feeds so operators could control live missions from here."
"Our mission has been a huge success since we left home," he said. "All
the way from doing the mobility process of loading equipment onto the
aircrafts, to bringing it here to P.R. and convoying all our equipment
across the mountains to set up camp at the main radar site in
According to the 117th ACS Commander Lt. Col. Ron Speir, the exercise goals were met.
"We have been able to complete our top objectives because we were able
to remote the radars, radios and data links from Savannah to PR," said
Speir. "We were controlling aircraft like we would if we were deployed
to other areas of the globe."
At the same time with the 117th ACS, the exercise marked the first time
in 18 years for the 141st to control live aircraft during an exercise
"The team work has been outstanding between the 141st ACS and the 117th
ACS," said Speir. "I have been in the ANG for 28 years, and this has
probably been the best annual training exercise for our unit."
In conjunction with the 117th ACS, the 141st ACS will have the
capability to use their satellite to tie in to the Savannah system and
periodically have the opportunity to control live aircraft off the coast
of Georgia in future missions.