Several Airmen from the Idaho Air National Guard’s 266th Range Squadron and their specialized Joint Threat Emitter equipment deployed this week to Scotland, United Kingdom, after being specifically requested by the No. 11 Group Royal Air Force to support them in numerous joint exercises for the next couple months during the unit’s Carrier Strike Group deployment.
“This is just another example of the capability and flexibility of today’s Idaho National Guard Airmen,” said Brig. Gen. Tim Donnellan, commander, Idaho Air National Guard. “The expertise of what these Airmen are able to provide with their knowledge of the emitter equipment is directly in line with our National Defense Strategy in preparing for future conflicts, and truly shows their commitment and professionalism.”
Idaho’s 226th RANS possesses highly sought-after electronic warfare training capabilities due to the specialized Threat Emitter Units. The IDANG sent two four-person teams with two Joint Threat Emitters to the U.K. on Royal Air Force C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft.
“We are one of the only military units that has the Joint Threat Emitter equipment,” said Tech. Sgt. Phillip Mason from the 266th RANS. “We have the most experience operating and maintaining this equipment, therefore, we get a lot of requests to bring the emitters to a number of exercises around the world.”
The equipment emits radar signals, acting as opposing forces, to pilots flying aircraft in the sky above. The equipment provides scenarios in which pilots can react to threats they may face in real-world situations.
“That’s what makes this training great for pilots,“ said Mason. “In the real-world they will be able to recognize that signal after training with this equipment and avoid being shot down.”
This training will help U.K. pilots achieve high-end collective training objectives during the Carrier Strike Group exercises. Additionally, U.S. Marine Corps ground troops are participating in the deployment and will provide a joint capability training opportunity.
“I am incredibly proud to serve with the Airmen of the IDANG,” said Donnellan. “They always answer the call, even if takes them near the top of the world to Scotland, our Airmen are ready to go. It’s humbling and awe inspiring.”