An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

NEWS | April 1, 2021

176th Wing prepares mobile rescue operations center for ARCTIC ACE

By David Bedard 176th Wing Public Affairs

Alaska Air National Guardsmen of 176th Communications Flight, 210th Rescue Squadron, 211th Rescue Squadron, and 176th Operations Support Squadron Intelligence partnered with associated contractors March 22 to validate the rapid employment of a mobile rescue operations center tailor made for Agile Combat Employment training in Alaska and operations throughout the Indo-Pacific Command area of operations.

The MROC is a command-and-control suite comprising radios, computers, amplifiers, and antennas that is specially packaged to rapidly deploy in order to establish combat search and rescue operations at remote and often-austere airfields.

Wing members huddled on the loading dock of JBER’s Hangar 18 where they rapidly put together the MROC’s components and demonstrated it could ably perform all necessary mission functions.

Alaska Air National Guard Tech. Sgt. Dustin Hayden, 176th Communications Flight Agile Communications Systems supervisor, said the hallmark of the MROC is its capability despite fitting in a lightweight package.

“The theory behind Agile Communications is to be able to go anywhere and set up an expeditionary communications system,” he said. “We can load this equipment on an HC-130[J Combat King II], potentially an HH-60[G Pave Hawk], take it to the middle of nowhere, and bring in data and voice communications.”

Alaska Air National Guard Maj. Allan Sain, 210th Rescue Squadron HH-60 pilot, said the radios can transmit line-of-sight or over satellite communications, supporting voice and data communications.

Sain said the MROC will deploy to Western Alaska in April where it will serve as the communications backbone for simulated CSAR operations during exercise ARCTIC ACE.

“We’re setting up a forward location that isn’t going to be a full-fledged base that we can maintain for an extended duration,” he said. “It’s going to be for a small amount of time, but it’s long enough to where you still want maintenance operations and other support functions like [personnel] services, civil engineers, and the logistics readiness squadron to get equipment in and out, fuels, everything else that supports the operations location.”

Sain said in addition to voice communications, data communications are critical for Joint All-Doman Command and Control, which provides a common operating picture for all U.S. forces operating in an expeditionary area of operations.

“The standard issues moving away from the base are maintaining the communications chain, and that entails everything from daily status reports to information relay for a mission,” he said. “In rescue, we’re used to dealing with this challenge. This is something we have seen for years in a combat situation where we may have to move helicopters and HC-130s forward to get closer to facilitate quicker rescue.”

Sain said the rapid move during ARCTIC ACE will pose unique challenges for wing support agencies who will have to balance agility with sustainability to see through the training operation.

Hayden said 176th Wing isn’t tackling ACE alone and continues to work with mission partners to refine agile tactics and techniques.

“Everyone’s key phrase lately is total force integration,” he said. “We have a great relationship with the (regular Air Force’s) 673d Communications Squadron, and they have a similar system, so we work together on setting these systems up and configuring them.”

Alaska National Guard kicks off initial phase of Kodiak Arctic Care ‘24
May 9, 2024
Members of the U.S. Public Health Service offload from an Alaska Air National Guard C-17 Globemaster III assigned to the 144th Airlift Squadron, 176th Wing, during Kodiak Arctic Care 24 Innovative Readiness Training Mission at Kodiak, Alaska, May 6, 2024.

Alaska Air Guard’s 168th Wing Refuels Red Flag Exercise
May 8, 2024
A U.S. F-16 Fighting Falcon approaches the boom of a 168th Wing KC-135 Stratotanker during Red Flag Alaska 24-1 aerial refueling operations over Alaska April 24, 2024. The 168th Wing provided air refueling during the exercise.

Exercise Gobi Wolf 2024 Begins in Heart of Mongolian Steppe
May 8, 2024
Brig. Gen. B. Uuganbayar, left, deputy director of the Mongolian National Emergency Management Agency, presents a commemorative anniversary plaque to Australian Maj. Gen. Scott Winter, deputy commanding general - strategy and plans for the U.S. Army Pacific, during the Gobi Wolf 2024 opening ceremony at the Governor’s Palace in Choibalsan, Mongolia, May 7, 2024. Gobi Wolf is an annual joint exercise coordinated by the Mongolian National Emergency Management Agency and U.S. Army Pacific that focuses on interagency coordination within Mongolia, as well as foreign humanitarian assistance during a large-scale natural disaster.

Alaska State Defense Force volunteerism shines at Mat-Su Arctic Winter Games
April 24, 2024
na

First annual AKNG Earth Day inspires youth, brings awareness to military’s role in conservation
April 24, 2024
N/A

U.S. Army and Marine Corps forge joint efforts to enhance aviation tactics
April 23, 2024
An Alaska Army National Guard UH-60L Black Hawk helicopter assigned to the 207th Aviation Troop Command performs a defensive maneuver while evading a simulated aerial threat during the Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course 2-24 near Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., March 28, 2024.

Alaska Air National Guard officer shares story with Service High JROTC
April 22, 2024
Alaska Air National Guard officer shares story with Service High JROTC

Alaska Air National Guard rescues stranded skiers at Kenai Fjords National Park
April 22, 2024
Stranded Skiers Rescued from Kenai Fjords National Park via Helicopter

Expanding horizons: Kusilvak Career Academy students tour Air National Guard facilities
April 9, 2024
na

A selfless effort: Alaska National Guard teen wins NG Youth Volunteer of the Year award during visit to state legislature
April 9, 2024
na