JSTARS launches user friendly map system for ORE

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Roger Parsons
  • 116th Air Control Wing Public Affairs
In an effort to help Airmen from Team Joint STARS more easily read and communicate grid coordinates on maps during their Operational Readiness Exercise, the 116th Civil Engineering Squadron engineered a new user-friendly map system.

Chief Master Sgt. David Fite, 116th Civil Engineering Squadron superintendent, led a team of five engineering assistants from the 116th and 202nd Engineering Squadrons during the project. The team worked more than 300 hours during the past several months to produce more than 100 maps for use during the ORE and upcoming Operational Readiness Inspection in September.

Staff Sgt. Columbus Cook, a traditional Guardsman from the 116th CES, was a key player in the design and implementation of the improved map system. With dual degrees in Architecture and Interior Design as well as a certification in AutoCAD, Cook brought a wealth of knowledge to the project.

According to Cook, a key component of the maps that he referred to as "through the door and up the stairs" is based on the Army's Military Grid Reference System. Using this system, players in the JSTARS ORE were able to quickly and accurately communicate their grid coordinates during the exercise.

"Our goal was to prepare a user friendly product so the average Airman could hit the ground running and reading a map would be the least of their worries," said Cook.