EV 1 participates in Contested Forge ‘18, proves rapid capability
By Senior Airman Lauren Parsons, 9th Intelligence Squadron
/ Published January 03, 2019
GROSTENQUIN AIR BASE, France -- Ramstein Air Base’s Eagle Vision 1 team conducted deployment operations with the 435th Contingency Response Group’s Contested Forge ‘18 exercise here, Dec. 3-7.
EV 1 is the Department of Defense’s only active-duty commercial satellite downlink ground station, which provides unclassified imagery products and geospatial intelligence services to partner nations and combatant commanders.
As DOD and U.S. Air Force leaders look to increase unit lethality, readiness and agility, CF-18 presented EV 1 leadership a unique opportunity to deploy and test rapid mobility capabilities.
“Since I took charge of EV 1 [in July] it has been a goal of mine to find ways to challenge this team,” said Capt. Robert, 24th Intelligence Squadron EV 1 flight commander. “Readiness is a top priority – if you don’t exercise mobility muscles, they tend to atrophy.”
To better familiarize current members with EV 1 mobility missions, Robert said it was critical to train the team prior to the exercise.
“Everything was new to us – setting up tents, putting up gear, setting up the Data Acquisition Segment structure… all of it was challenging,” said Staff Sgt. Marvin, 24th IS EV 1 DAS NCO in charge. “We practiced on the pad [at Ramstein] and it was easy, but once we moved everything here we definitely had hiccups.”
The team faced many challenges, to include maintaining a higher operational tempo and overcoming problematic weather while assembling a nearly 16-foot-long antenna, establishing sleeping quarters and generating power.
“I feel like the team did great at adapting,” said Marvin. “It was cold, wet and miserable at times, but nobody quit. Everyone was out there turning wrenches and working to get things set up as best they knew how. This was our first movement, so being able to set everything up and tear it back down within our short timeframe… I think it said a lot about the team.”
Faced with adversity, Robert said the team accomplished what it set out to do; show commanders the unit is a viable option to deploy rapidly and provide support in locations where other theater assets might be unavailable.
Above all, Robert said his team made strides toward meeting military leaders’ priorities, with focus on improving overall force readiness.
“We have absolutely taken Air Force priorities to heart,” said Robert. “That is why this opportunity was so important to our team. It was a test of our capabilities, showed us where we needed to improve and let commanders know we can enable combat lethality. We have areas to grown in, but I believe we will be ready the next time we are needed.”