Des Moines, Iowa --
Whether it’s a natural disaster or a missing person; the city, county or state government may call upon the Air National Guard for assistance. On August 24, 2017, the 132nd Wing conducted a joint Army and Air National Guard domestic operations (DOMOPS) training exercise along with the Civil Air Patrol at the Des Moines, Iowa.
The goal of the exercise was to measure the capabilities and effectiveness of the 132d Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance Group as another asset for DOMOPS. The ISRG was able to provide its Unclassified Processing, Assessment and Dissemination (U-PAD) cell to assist in the exercise.
If imagery of an affected area is required by decision makers, the U-PAD can help provide near real-time analysis of the imagery utilizing the training and expertise that imagery analysts use in their day-to-day job for their federal mission. This concept, known as Incident, Awareness, and Assessment (IAA), provides situational awareness and assessment to civil authorities in support of domestic operations.
“Our objectives in this exercise were to save lives and mitigate suffering,” said Master Sgt. Jacob Hermanson, the 132d ISRG targeting training NCOIC. “We were able to meet all those objectives and the end result was very successful.”
The exercise scenario simulated assisting local county authorities in a search and rescue effort for two missing people. The 132d ISRG was able to work hand in hand with the joint partners of the Army National Guard as well as the Civil Air Patrol who provided the imagery for the analysts to disseminate and relay to commanders. The Army maintained a live video feed of the area of operation (AOR) with a UH-72 Lakota helicopter while the Civil Air Patrol flew aerial support with several Cessna 182 aircraft.
“When emergencies happen, we have to learn to call upon our neighbors, our friends, our coworkers, and other agencies around the area to get things done,” said Col. John Seten, a search and rescue officer for the Civil Air Patrol.
With the added capabilities of the ISRG to receive and view imagery in near real-time, operation leaders were supplied with data that normally would’ve taken three to four times longer to process.
“It really does decreases the response time for disasters scenarios and provides much better analysis for decision makers,” said 1st Lt. Chidester, officer-in-charge (OIC).
Chidester also said the 132d ISRG hopes to continue to take part in future training exercises in preparation for real-world emergencies.
Currently, the 132d Wing’s DOMOPS capabilities include the Mobile Emergency Operations Center (MEOC), Urban Search and Rescue, Civil Engineering Debris Clearance, Civil Disturbance, the Disaster Relief Mobile Kitchen Trailer (DRMKT) and RC-26 Metroliner Counter Drug.