GULFPORT, Miss. - Knowing an enemy's current location and communicating it quickly to the command staff is a critical element of a commander's decision support process. A trailer the size of a small bus now has the equipment necessary to communicate with the RC-26, an aircraft with surveillance capabilities.
"The trailer is used as a piece of equipment that goes along with the RC-26," said trailer designer Master Sgt. William K. Kriegbaum, Arkansas Air National Guard.
"The original version was created in Arkansas six years ago for domestic operations. When Mississippi wanted to build their own, they contacted me," said Kriegbaum.
Mississippi desired a smaller trailer than the one he previously designed, he said.
"Mississippi wanted one that was smaller for the Operational Support Squadron they were standing up," he said. "It can be used for different exercises."
It provides a vital relay to provide real-time intelligence from the surveillance site to the command element.
"We get downlinks to get the full motion video directly from those aircraft live," said Kriegbaum. "It's brought into the trailer and it's pumped into the network, where operators can sit and watch the live stream as it comes in."
This is the trailer's first time being used in an exercise and it adds to the realism of the training for their job, he said.
"This exercise is more realistic. Train like you fight. This is one of the better training (events) that I have been to because this is what we would be doing," he said.
The trailer is being used as a component to assist during surveillance exercises during Southern Strike 18, hosted by Mississippi Air National Guard at Gulfport Combat Readiness Training Center - Battlefield Airmen Center. The exercise is a joint multinational combat exercise that provides tactical level training for the full spectrum of conflict.