DURING THE US Northern Command and Kansas National Guard training exercise Vigilant Guard, Textron AirLand’s Scorpion intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR)/strike aircraft prototype was given the opportunity to participate and demonstrate its capabilities. Vigilant Guard tests the capabilities of emergency response agencies at all levels of government, both military and civil.
Announcing its successful participation on August 14, Textron AirLand said that Scorpion had provided colour high definition multi-spectral aerial reconnaissance full motion video and communications with other aircraft and ground stations from August 4-6. The company said that Scorpion demonstrated a 100% mission availability rate, supporting rapidly changing events on the ground, providing the Joint Task Force Commander crucial incident awareness to dynamically re-task surveillance and first responder teams as the complex disaster relief scenarios evolved.
Integration of the Helmet Mounted Cueing System (HMCS) enabled Textron AirLand’s Mission Commander, Andy Vaughan, also a traditional Guardsman and A-10C pilot, to maintain eyes on target while managing the electro-optical and infra-red sensor for optimal full-motion imagery downlink feed to the Kansas Air National Guard’s 184th Intelligence Wing (IW) Geospatial Operations Analysis Team. With Scorpion’s video feed, the 184th IW was able to create and disseminate 30 complex intelligence assessment products to the 35th Infantry Division Tactical Operations Center (TOC) and Joint Task Force Commander for decisive and efficient command and control of first responder personnel.
Scorpion participated in a variety of scenarios which included a simulated train derailment, chemical spill, infrastructure damage, medical evacuations and recovery operations. These activities were co-ordinated daily with US Army North Command and Northern Command operations staff. Alan Warnes