Story and Photos by: 2nd Lt. Joseph Brown, fire control platoon leader, Bravo Battery, 1st Battalion, 1st Air Defense Artillery Regiment, 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command.
KADENA AIR BASE, Okinawa, Japan — Known as the “Hub of Pacific Air Power”, the 18th Wing stationed on Okinawa’s Kadena Air Base is the Air Force’s largest combat wing. The 18,000 military and civilians on Kadena make up a world-class combat ready team with numerous missions and functions, which all rely on each other to fulfill a complex and vital role in the region.
On the morning of Tuesday, April 5, 2015, sirens across base alerted all members of “Team Kadena” that an exercise had begun. The mission readiness exercise focused on stressing base processes, command and control, logistics, and communications. Simulated strikes across the base occurred throughout the day, forcing military leaders to adapt, in an effort to validate Team Kadena’s capability to maintain operations under stressful combat conditions.
As the only Army ground-based air defense (Patriot) assigned to the airbase, the 1st Battalion, 1st Air Defense Artillery Regiment was called upon during the exercise to provide air and missile defense. Bravo Battery, 1-1 ADA prepared a site near the 18th Wing Headquarters.
The missile defense battery deployed a small reconnaissance, selection, and occupation of position (RSOP) team to the site; the team was responsible for the layout and preparation for all follow-on equipment. The Patriot equipment includes launchers, a radar, power generators, communications, and command and control elements…