Fla. Guard Soldiers stand ready to defend nation's capitol
Sgt. 1st Class Raul Gasca, left, an observer controller/trainer with 1st Battalion, 362nd Air Defense Artillery, Task Force Renegade, 5th Armored Brigade, Division West, evaluates a Soldier with the Florida Army National Guard's 3rd Battalion, 265th ADA Battalion, during an operational readiness exercise in the National Capital Region earlier this month. (Photo by Capt. Kevin Lockett, 1st Battalion, 362nd Air Defense Artillery, 5th Armored Brigade, Division West)

Soldiers with 1st Battalion, 362nd Air Defense Artillery, "Renegades," 5th Armored Brigade, Division West, working with the 263rd Army Air and Missile Defense Command, recently completed an Operational Readiness Exercise for the Florida Army National Guard's 3rd Battalion, 265th ADA Battalion, "Task Force Lightning," within the National Capital Region.

The "Renegades," under the direction of the 263rd AAMDC, set out to validate the Florida Guard Soldiers conducting their National Capital Region Integrated Air Defense System mission, which requires them to protect vital national assets.

This was the first opportunity for 263rd AAMDC to conduct an ORE for Task Force Lightning since the Guard Soldiers assumed their mission.

The ORE consisted of an in-depth evaluation of Avenger, Norwegian Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System, and Sensor sites within the National Capital Region. Task Force Renegade observer controller/trainers focused on aspects of the mission including training management, site security, maintenance and daily operations.

"Inspections such as this are what keeps a unit from becoming complacent while on mission," said Sgt. 1st Class Raul Gasca, a Renegade observer controller/trainer.

Although the Florida ADA battalion continues to stay mission-focused and make site improvements, the unit's leadership has found opportunities to expose their Soldiers to the variety of historic monuments and museums within the National Capital Region.

"This unit has a great plan to highlight the history located within the D.C. region," said Master Sgt. Randall Roland, Renegade senior observer controller/trainer.

Page last updated Fri January 25th, 2013 at 16:07