US Army Load Avenger Air Defense System Onto Army Watercraft System for Forager 21
US Army Load Avenger Air Defense System Onto Army Watercraft System for Forager 21

US Army Load Avenger Air Defense System Onto Army Watercraft System for Forager 21

Soldiers assigned to 1st Battalion, 174th Air Defense Artillery Regiment transported their Avenger Air Defense Systems, and other military vehicles, around the world in order to take part in exercise Forager 21 on July 28, 2021, Guam. With the help of civilian contractors and Soldiers assigned to the 7th Transportation Brigade, the vehicles were loaded onto an Army Watercraft System headed for Tinian. Once deployed to the island, Charlie Battery, 1st Battalion, 174th Air Defense Artillery Regiment will conduct strategic deployment and joint training alongside 1st Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division.

The Avenger Air Defense System, designated AN/TWQ-1 under the Joint Electronics Type Designation System, is an American self-propelled surface-to-air missile system which provides mobile, short-range air defense protection for ground units against cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, low-flying fixed-wing aircraft, and helicopters. Originally developed as a private venture by Boeing in the 1980s. The Avenger was originally developed for the United States Armed Forces and is currently used by the U.S. Army. The Avenger system was also used by the U.S. Marine Corps. The Avenger comes mainly in three configurations, the Basic, Slew-to-Cue, and the Up-Gun. The first operational deployment of the system occurred during the buildup for the Persian Gulf War.

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Soldiers of the 97th Transportation Company, 7th Sustainment Brigade, and civilian contract workers load an Avenger Air Defense System assigned to 1st Battalion, 174th Air Defense Artillery Regiment onto an Army Watercraft System in support of exercise Forager 21 on July 28, 2021, Naval Station Guam.
Soldiers of the 97th Transportation Company, 7th Sustainment Brigade, and civilian contract workers load an Avenger Air Defense System assigned to 1st Battalion, 174th Air Defense Artillery Regiment onto an Army Watercraft System in support of exercise Forager 21 on July 28, 2021, Naval Station Guam. (Photo by Army Spc. Olivia Lauer)

The Basic configuration consists of a gyro-stabilized air defense turret mounted on a modified heavy Humvee. The turret has two Stinger missile launcher pods, each capable of firing up to 4 fire-and-forget infrared/ultraviolet guided missiles in rapid succession. The Avenger can be linked to the Forward Area Air Defense Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence (FAAD C3I) system, which permits external radar tracks and messages to be passed to the fire unit to alert and cue the gunner. The right missile pod was removed and the M3P 12.7 mm (.50) cal machine gun was moved to the pod’s former position. This allowed for the removal of the turret’s cab safety limits which enabled the gun to be fired directly in front of the HMMWV.

Exercising military mobility processes and agreements ensures our troops and equipment can deploy across the Indo-Pacific region without delay for exercises in peacetime or supplying reinforcements in an emerging crisis or contingency. As Forager 21 comes to an end in the middle of August 2021, the steps are already in motion to transport the 1-174th supplies and vehicles back to Ohio. 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.

Ohio Army National Guard Soldiers assigned to 1st Battalion, 174th Air Defense Artillery Regiment operate the Avenger Air Defense System during exercise Forager 21 on July 29, 2021 at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam.
Ohio Army National Guard Soldiers assigned to 1st Battalion, 174th Air Defense Artillery Regiment operate the Avenger Air Defense System during exercise Forager 21 on July 29, 2021 at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. (Photo by Army Sgt. Aven Santiago)
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