ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam – Soldiers assigned to 1st Battalion, 174th Air Defense Artillery Regiment took part in exercise Forager 21 starting July 10, 2021 on Guam and Tinian. Throughout their training, the 1-174th performed exercises on their Avenger Air Defense Systems and Sentinel Radars. They also coordinated with other units from around the United States as well as partners and allies. Forager 21 exercises their ability to conduct strategic deployment and Joint operational maneuver of forces into and across the Indo-Pacific theater.
“Especially as a National Guard unit, our ability to load up our equipment and move it all the way from Ohio to Guam, demonstrates our ability to support force projection into different combatant commands and different theaters,” said Ohio National Guard Lt. Col. Millard Rife, Battalion Commander of the 1-174th.
The Avenger is a self-propelled surface-to-air missile system which provides mobile, short-range air defense (SHORAD) protection for ground units, while the Sentinel is a 3D radar used to alert and cue SHORAD weapons to the locations of hostile targets approaching their front line forces.
While Alpha and Bravo Battery 1-174th set up at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Charlie Battery 1-174th was flown to Tinian, Northern Mariana Islands, on Army CH-47 Chinooks, assigned to 1st Battalion, 52nd Aviation Regiment, on July 27, 2021. On Tinian, they were in an uncontrolled environment conducting operations and running drills 24 hours a day.
“It gives our Soldiers that real-feel,” said Ohio National Guard Capt. Abby Schroll, Charlie Battery Commander of the 1-174th. “You train as you fight. This gives us the confidence to go and be able to conduct our operations successfully.”
In the past year, the 1-174th have been called to action, supporting the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, food banks, and vaccine distribution during the Ohio National Guard’s COVID response, as well as the security mission in Washington DC. When they got the call to participate in Forager 21, the 1-174th was ready to go.
Currently, the 174th Air Defense Artillery Brigade has a presence in Ohio, Guam, and Europe. Rife said the Soldiers of the 1-174th come up in a culture where they are deployed to a lot of different environments.
“The sun doesn’t set on the 174th Brigade,” said Rife. “I think we’re ready. Our Soldiers have gained valuable proficiencies from this exercise, and we’ll continue to build upon that.”
Exercise Forager 21 is a U.S. Army Pacific exercise designed to test and refine the Theater Army’s ability to flow land power forces into the theater, execute command and control of those forces, and effectively employ them in support of our allies, partners, and national security objectives in the region.