ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- Echo Battery, 3rd Air Defense Artillery Regiment, Task Force Talon, 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command (AAMDC), recently completed their Table VIII gunnery certifications, which entailed a lot more than just annual mobility requirements.
For E-ADA Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), it also included the movement and staging of all THAAD specific tactical equipment into an aircraft hangar to validate the unit's ability to prepare for a potential typhoon threat to the island of Guam.
Guam is situated in the South Pacific in an area known as Typhoon Alley. This area is more susceptible to typhoons from June to November compared to anywhere else in the Pacific Ocean. Typhoons bring powerful winds and flooding that can cause damage to equipment if not stored in a sufficiently rated shelter.
To meet the mission requirements of the homeland defense of Guam and typhoon readiness, Soldiers with E-3 ADA (THAAD) combined their Table VIII gunnery certification with a typhoon movement exercise.
The Table VIII gunnery certification combines all gunnery requirements into one overall assessment by external evaluators from the 94th AAMDC and it also assesses the battery's ability to conduct the required movement drills in response to a tactical order.
Soldiers within the battery have two hours to prepare the equipment for movement, thus enabling the task force commander to properly evaluate unit readiness. After successfully completing the initial portion, the battery has four hours from when the radar starts movement to successfully complete emplacement.
The safe and successful execution was attributed to the deliberate planning process which incorporated the troop leading procedures, placing a focus on junior leadership contributions. This manner developed the team, enlightening junior leaders on the planning process and the progression of events. Concurrently, the exercise put a great emphasis on the partnerships E-3 ADA (THAAD) has developed with 36 Wing, Andersen Air Force Base, and it served as a capstone event to validate joint plans.
"This exercise and certification is a true testament to the unit's readiness, while proving to the combatant commander its ability to remain flexible while maintaining real world mission requirements," said Cpt. Jared Kuntz, battery commander for E-3 ADA (THAAD).
The unit incorporated these typhoon readiness drills into their mobility certification to simultaneously execute their two training requirements. Instead of immediately emplacing the equipment, the battery completed a convoy movement to the designated hanger on the flight line while escorted by the unit's security element, Task Force Wolf.
Hanger Management met with unit leadership during the exercise to discuss a variety of techniques and procedures that would be performed in response to a typhoon.