The 81st Air Control Squadron Completes COMBAT SENTRY 21A, integrating WSEP with E-3G Operational Test

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  • 81st Air Control Squadron
The 81st Air Control Squadron, in coordination with the 83d Fighter Weapon Squadron, 82d Aerial Target Squadron, and the 53d Test Support Squadron, planned and conducted COMBAT SENTRY 21A from December 7-15, 2020. 
This is the second execution of the 53rd Wing’s newest Weapon System Evaluation Program that provides evaluations of the Air Force’s combat-coded battle management command and control weapon systems. This exercise saw the 81 ACS conducting evaluations on the E-3G Airborne Early Warning and Control System and the Battlefield Command and Control Center-Theater (BC3-T) ground-based command and control system.
“For this exercise, COMBAT SENTRY conducted a series of evaluations on the E-3G’s radar operating in threat-representative electronic attack environment using unique systems built by the 53 TSS.” said exercise director Capt. Patrick “Kronk” Russ. “Additionally, we conducted of series of evaluations on the both the E-3G and BC3-T data-sharing and force management capabilities that have direct application to the Air Force’s Agile Combat Employment concepts,” said Capt Russ.  The findings from these evaluation will produce data to help inform Air Force leaders on long-term decisions about the Air Force’s battle management command and control capabilities and provide a foundation for continued evaluations once elements of the Advance Battle Management System are fielded.
Additionally, COMBAT SENTRY 21A also saw the program expand to include the integration with the E-3G operational test community, specifically the 505th Command and Control Wing’s 605th Test and Evaluation Squadron, Detachment 1.  This integration provided the venue for the 605 TES/Det 1 to conduct tactics development testing during air-to-air live-fire operations conducted during COMBAT ARCHER 21.04.  Maj John “Refill” Auld, the 605 TES, Det 1 Director of Operations noted, “This venue allowed the AWACS Combined Test Force the opportunity to evaluate three recommended tactics improvements that will have major implications how the E-3G operates in the contested environment.”