The U.S. Air National Guard Air Force Reserve Command Test Center C-130 Hercules Detachment from Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, and the 182nd Airlift Wing from Illinois, visited Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, to test a high-resolution, multi-sensor pod, April 5-13, 2021. The LITENING Targeting Pod is used for locating, fixing and targeting enemy target sets. It’s used by U. S. Air Force fighter and bomber platforms, specifically the C-130 Hercules, to survey an operational area and track assigned targets. AATC and the 182nd employed two aircraft in order to test the pod’s functionality and help determine its advantages to the operational mission.
AATC worked closely with Davis-Monthan’s 563rd Rescue Group in order to perform the tests. The 563rd RQG provided training airdrop equipment, loaded the equipment in both aircraft, and helped inspect the equipment before flight. They also authorized use of their drop zone __cpLocation at the Marana Regional Airport where the tests occurred.Tests like these are beneficial to not just the guard or reserve, but the entire U. S. Air Force. These tests provide an improved capability applicable to a large number of aerial combat platforms and rescue units.
“AATC is working to fully integrate the LITENING TGP with the C-130, primarily to aid the precision airdrop initiative. The pod helps the C-130 airdrop mission by adding the ability to generate airdrop coordinates, locate and avoid enemy and sensitive objects, such as people or structures; and track airdropped supplies following the airdrop release.” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Justin Brumley, AATC director of operations. In this case, it means airdropping equipment to an active drop zone.”
Total force partnerships like these allow AATC and Davis-Monthan to accomplish various mission sets with ease. The interoperability of guard, reserve and active duty forces enables the U. S. Air Force to remain unmatched in its response to warfighter requirements, and allows new, innovative support to the aircraft the total force employs. Integrating the total force into required mission sets improves military effectiveness and resource efficiency, allowing the service to accomplish the mission and innovate for tomorrow’s fight at the lowest possible cost.