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552nd flies northwest for joint exercise

Later this month, a crew from the 552nd Air Control Wing will take an E-3
Sentry up to Oregon to participate in Amalgam Dart '09, a major U.S.
Northern Command air defense exercise. The AWACS will provide all-weather
surveillance, command, control and communications needed by air defense
forces. Air Force photo by 1st Lt. Kinder Blacke.

Later this month, a crew from the 552nd Air Control Wing will take an E-3 Sentry up to Oregon to participate in Amalgam Dart '09, a major U.S. Northern Command air defense exercise. The AWACS will provide all-weather surveillance, command, control and communications needed by air defense forces. Air Force photo by 1st Lt. Kinder Blacke.

TYNDALL AFB, Fla. -- A northwest Oregon National Guard base will host nearly 200 Soldiers and Airmen, and a U.S. Navy destroyer will patrol coastal waters while participating in a major U.S. Northern Command air defense exercise in mid-June.

Exercise Amalgam Dart '09 will take place at Camp Rilea and nearby Warrenton, Ore June 18-20. It is one of several exercises under the Ardent Sentry '09 exercise series.

As the Continental U.S. geographical component of the bi-national North American Aerospace Defense Command, Continental U.S. NORAD Region provides airspace surveillance and control and directs all air sovereignty activities.

From their Air and Space Operations Center here, the CONR commander and his staff will direct Air Force, Army and Navy assets, ensuring the air sovereignty and air defense of the continental United States.

During Amalgam Dart '09, CONR will demonstrate a rapidly deployable air defense system that could protect high profile national targets against cruise missiles and other low-flying threats.

Playing a critical role in this effort will be the E-3 Sentry from Tinker AFB, Okla. The 552nd Air Control Wing crew will use the Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) to provide all-weather surveillance, command, control and communications needed by air defense forces.

The 552nd Air Control Wing frequently participates in exercises of this nature in order to stay up-to-date and prepared to support National Security at a moment's notice.

"Exercise Amalgam Dart '09 provides us with the opportunity to train for potential scenarios that could affect the Continental U.S.," said Maj. Gen. Hank Morrow, CONR commander. "Exercises like this allow us to review processes and procedures and focus our future training efforts to identifying areas that may need attention."

Other units participating in Amalgam Dart '09 include:

· Oregon Air National Guard's 142nd Fighter Wing F-15 Eagles and California Air National Guard's 144th FW F-16 Fighting Falcons will serve as interceptors during the exercise. They will operate out of Portland and McChord Air Force Base, Wash., respectively.
· South Carolina National Guard's 263rd Army Air and Missile Defense Command will deploy the Avenger short-range air defense system.
· U.S. Navy Aegis-equipped destroyer which uses computers and radars to track and destroy enemy targets will patrol off the Oregon coast.
· Air Force's 552nd Air Control Wing E-3 Sentry will provide all-weather surveillance, command, control and communications needed by air defense forces.
· Rhode Island Air National Guard's 282nd and Georgia ANG's 283rd Combat Communications Squadrons will deploy communication teams to provide secure data and voice networks for the exercise.
· The Western Air Defense Sector, based at McChord Air Force Base, Wash., will detect, identify, track and scramble fighters if need be to intercept unknown or threatening airborne objects.
· 311th Airlift Squadron and Air Force Flights Standards Agency C-21s, and Oregon Wing of the Civil Air Patrol Cessna 172s will serve as high and low-level "targets'" for the exercise participants.