192nd Intelligence Squadron works with Va. Army Guard and Va. State Police

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Carlos J. Claudio
  • 192nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Airmen from the 192nd Fighter Wing, 192nd Intelligence Squadron (IS), Joint Base Langley-Eustis, joined forces with the Virginia Army National Guard and Virginia State Police (VSP) during an Incident Awareness and Assessment exercise that verified the ability to provide a full-motion video signal during an operational exercise at Camp Pendleton, Virginia, August 21, 2013. The six-day "Domestic Operations" exercise, which ran August 18-23, used a Geospatial Information Interoperability Exploitation Portable system. This system allows Airmen access to video signals captured through a sophisticated camera on the Virginia National Guard UH-72 Lakota helicopter. The same video signals are sent directly to the Virginia State Police's mobile command center vehicle and handheld receivers. "The main purpose of this exercise is to practice the interoperability of communications between the Virginia State Police, the 192nd Intelligence Squadron and the Virginia Army National Guard's 224th Squadron asset," said Lt. Col. Bryan Salmon, 192nd IS commander. "It provides decision makers, in times of an emergency, with near real-time information." In a natural disaster scenario, like after hurricane, Air and National Guard assets help support state agencies that need vital information on impacted areas to make vital decisions. "The targets or main areas of interest are provided to us by the Virginia Department of Emergency Management or the Virginia State Police," said Capt. Billy Giannetti, 192nd IS Project Officer. "Once we obtain those targets, we scrutinize them with the J-2 (Joint Intelligence) at Joint Forces Headquarters," he said. "We use the UH-72 Lakota helicopter to perform the mission by shooting full-motion video of the target." Once the video is obtained from the three-person Army Guard chopper crew and a 192nd IS imagery analyst, they take screen shots by electronically creating a still picture from a video image. 192nd IS imagery analysts study the target images, such as a collapsed bridge or an overcrowded hospital emergency entrance, then forward their findings to Joint Force Headquarters and key state agency customers for coordinated response efforts. Approximately thirty Airmen from the 192nd IS supported the exercise. They coordinated with the UH-72 Lakota pilots from the Sandston-based Detachment 1, Company A, 2nd Battalion, 151st Aviation Regiment, using secure radio channels. A ground station was set up by a team from Detachment 1, brought the UH-72 Lakota video feed from air to ground and then re-distributed it to the 192nd IS and VSP. At the state mobile command center vehicle, VSP coordinated with Air Guard and Army National Guard personnel to integrate resources. As with the state's I-64 lane reversal exercise held on July 21, the goal of these exercises is to efficiently evaluate emergency situations and protect our citizens throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia using the eye in the sky. "Our mission is to get our state police command post and integrate it with a military helicopter so we can see their (video) downlink," said Sgt. First Class Ray Newby. "This signal will give command staff situational awareness sitting right here at this table. They will become better commanders because they will be able to make their decisions that way." Image analyzing goals accomplished by the 192nd IS during this exercise can be credited to personnel using their expertise from a federal role to a state role. "We perform federal missions to support Joint Forces downrange," said Salmon. "We use that same skill in domestic missions, but with a different customer. The skill set is easily transferrable."