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53rd Air Traffic Control Squadron: Agile Gator Exercise

trucks

DODGE COUNTY, Ga. -- The 53rd Air Traffic Control Squadron and the 52nd Combat Communications Squadron Hammer Adaptive Communications Element convoy arrives and begins their deployed location set up in Dodge County, Georgia, June 24, 2020, for Exercise Agile Gator. The exercise is a semiannual capstone exercise tested the unit’s readiness and ability to assume responsibility for any no-notice missions, like a humanitarian assistance or disaster relief event. (courtesy photo)

air traffic control tower

DODGE COUNTY, Ga. -- The 53rd Air Traffic Control Squadron and 52nd Combat Communications Squadron Hammer Adaptive Communications Element teams set up antenna on both sides of a mobile air traffic control tower for communications at the Exercise Agile Gator deployed location in Dodge County, Georgia, June 24, 2020. The exercise is a semiannual capstone exercise tested the unit’s readiness and ability to assume responsibility for any no-notice missions, like a humanitarian assistance or disaster relief event. (courtesy photo illustration)

two airmen

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- Staff Sgt. Toby Page, 53rd Air Traffic Control Squadron Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning and Refrigeration technician, and Staff Sgt. Mark Milisci, 53rd ATCS Power Production technician, configure the number of power cables required to support Exercise Agile Gator at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, June 23, 2020. The exercise is a semiannual capstone exercise tested the unit’s readiness and ability to assume responsibility for any no-notice missions, like a humanitarian assistance or disaster relief event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Joseph Mather)

trucks

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. – The 53rd Air Traffic Control Squadron, combined with the 52nd Combat Communications Squadron Hammer Adaptive communications Element, depart Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, June 24, 2020, in a convoy for Exercise Agile Gator. The exercise is a semiannual capstone exercise tested the unit’s readiness and ability to assume responsibility for any no-notice missions, like a humanitarian assistance or disaster relief event. (courtesy photo)

air traffic control tower

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- 53rd Air Traffic Control Squadron team members prepare and pack equipment into a Mobile Air Traffic Control Tower for Exercise Agile Gator at Robins Air Base, Georgia, June 23, 2020. The exercise is a semiannual capstone exercise tested the unit’s readiness and ability to assume responsibility for any no-notice missions, like a humanitarian assistance or disaster relief event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Joseph Mather)

airmen loading trailer

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- Senior Airmen Emily Napoleon and Senior Airmen Edelsen Trang, both 53rd Air Traffic Control Squadron Radar Airfield and Weather Systems technicians, load the air field management trailer at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, June 23, 2020, to deploy to Exercise Agile Gator. The exercise is a semiannual capstone exercise tested the unit’s readiness and ability to assume responsibility for any no-notice missions, like a humanitarian assistance or disaster relief event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Joseph Mather)

trailers

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- 53rd Air Traffic Control Squadron Digital Air Traffic Control and Landing Systems team members prepare the Tactical Air Navigation System for deployment to Exercise Agile Gator at Robins Air Base, Georgia, June 23, 2020. The exercise is a semiannual capstone exercise tested the unit’s readiness and ability to assume responsibility for any no-notice missions, like a humanitarian assistance or disaster relief event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Joseph Mather)

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --

The 53rd Air Traffic Control Squadron with the 461st Air Control Wing at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, conducted a mission essential exercise with support from multiple Team Robins partners to test their readiness June 23-29.

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DODGE COUNTY, Ga. -- Airmen 1st Class Matthew Lewandowski, 52nd Combat Communications Squadron Hammer Adaptive Communication Element member (left front), Senior Airmen Edelsen Trang (left back), 53rd Air Traffic Control Squadron Radar Airfield and Weather Systems technician, and Tech. Sgt. Christopher Seiwert, 52nd CBCS Hammer ACE member, set up solar panels to augment the power grid and reduce the demand for fuel at the Exercise Agile Gator deployed location in Dodge County, Georgia, June 24, 2020. The exercise is a semiannual capstone exercise tested the unit’s readiness and ability to assume responsibility for any no-notice missions, like a humanitarian assistance or disaster relief event. (courtesy photo)
solar panels
53rd Air Traffic Control Squadron: Agile Gator Exercise
DODGE COUNTY, Ga. -- Airmen 1st Class Matthew Lewandowski, 52nd Combat Communications Squadron Hammer Adaptive Communication Element member (left front), Senior Airmen Edelsen Trang (left back), 53rd Air Traffic Control Squadron Radar Airfield and Weather Systems technician, and Tech. Sgt. Christopher Seiwert, 52nd CBCS Hammer ACE member, set up solar panels to augment the power grid and reduce the demand for fuel at the Exercise Agile Gator deployed location in Dodge County, Georgia, June 24, 2020. The exercise is a semiannual capstone exercise tested the unit’s readiness and ability to assume responsibility for any no-notice missions, like a humanitarian assistance or disaster relief event. (courtesy photo)
Photo By: courtesy photo
VIRIN: 200625-F-F3494-2003
Exercise Agile Gator is a semiannual capstone exercise to test the flight’s readiness and ability to assume responsibility for any no-notice missions, like humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

“Our team will be providing deployable air traffic control and landing systems, air traffic control, and airfield management capabilities,” said 1st Lt. Ryan Samolewski, 53rd ATCS Charlie Flight commander.

The 53rd ATCS accomplished a few first-time functions during the exercise.

“We split our normal response force for this type of mission into two teams,” said Samolewski. “Our squadron normally deploys a whole team within 72 hours of tasking.”

For the initial set up, the 53rd ATCS sent the bare minimum needed.

air traffic control tower
DODGE COUNTY, Ga. – The 53rd Air Traffic Control Squadron un-packs and set up a mobile air traffic control tower at Exercise Agile Gator deployed location in Dodge County, Georgia, June 24, 2020. The exercise is a semiannual capstone exercise tested the unit’s readiness and ability to assume responsibility for any no-notice missions, like a humanitarian assistance or disaster relief event. (courtesy photo)
air traffic control tower
53rd Air Traffic Control Squadron: Agile Gator Exercise
DODGE COUNTY, Ga. – The 53rd Air Traffic Control Squadron un-packs and set up a mobile air traffic control tower at Exercise Agile Gator deployed location in Dodge County, Georgia, June 24, 2020. The exercise is a semiannual capstone exercise tested the unit’s readiness and ability to assume responsibility for any no-notice missions, like a humanitarian assistance or disaster relief event. (courtesy photo)
Photo By: courtesy photo
VIRIN: 200625-F-F3494-2001
“During this effort, we wanted to test a proof of concept,” said Samolewski. “The bare minimum amount of personnel and equipment needed to startup air traffic control and air field management capabilities within 24 hours of receiving the tasking.”

The second team arrived by the 72 hour mark supplying the remainder of the equipment.

The 53rd ATCS packed up their equipment at Robins and then had a couple of convoys drive to Eastman Dodge County Airport over two days to conduct the exercise.

“We coordinated with the 330th Combat Training Squadron to facilitate some real-time live convoy integration training between an airborne [Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System] unit and our convoy from Robins AFB to Eastman, Georgia,” said Samolewski. “We were accompanied and supported by the Hammer [Adaptive Communications Element] from the 52nd Combat Communications Squadron.”

The 52nd CBCS with the 5th Combat Communications Group provided multiple communication capabilities back to home station during the simulated environment where cell service is degraded and knocked out due to a natural disaster.

Once there, the 53rd ATCS simulated a hurricane response relief mission.

“This tested our ability to be flexible and agile, hence the name of the exercise,” said Samolewski. “If this operation to be viable, this would allow our unit to provide the necessary capabilities to support orderly search and rescue air operations 48 hours earlier than normally prescribed potentially saving countless lives in response to a natural disaster.”