Ohio National Guard News

Operation tempo high for ADA defenders:
‘Pinnacle of Need’

Story and photos Staff Sgt. Michael Carden, Ohio National Guard Public Affairs

Soldiers with the 174th Air Defense Artillery Brigade participate in pre-mobilization training in August, 2018 at Camp Ravenna Joint Military Training Center, near Newton Falls, Ohio. Multiple units with the 174th ADA Brigade are deploying to various locations around the world to provide air defense capabilities to U.S. and allied forces.

Soldiers take cover after being ambushed during a foot patrol.

A Soldier assaults an objective.

Soldiers scan for combatants after being attacked during a foot patrol.

A Soldier assaults an objective.

Col. Thomas Moore, commander of the 174th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, practices restraining a suspect.

Soldiers interact with a simulated aggressive bystander during a foot patrol.

Soldiers practice hand-to-hand combat techniques.

174th crestNEWTON FALLS, Ohio (09/27/18) — Sweating under a blazing summer sun, Soldiers slowly discussed step-by- step, the phases of the assault. Each member of the patrol called out their role as the squad leader confirmed that everyone was on the same page. With a nod to his team, the squad leader turned to the instructors to get the evaluation underway.

More than 300 Soldiers of the 174th Air Defense Artillery Brigade recently spent time at Camp Ravenna Joint Military Training Center, in northeastern Ohio, preparing to deploy to various locations around the globe to provide air defense capabilities for a variety of missions.

“Across the entire brigade, everyone is decisively engaged,” said Col. Thomas Moore, the brigade commander. “It’s a great day to be an air defender. The air defense branch is the pinnacle of need across the force.”

Soldiers from the brigade headquarters will be deploying as mission command elements that will be providing command and control of all air defense assets in the U.S. European Command (EUCOM) area of responsibility. Beyond that, members of 1st Battalion, 174th Air Defense Artillery Regiment are deploying to the National Capital Region in Washington, D.C., while another battery from the battalion will be attached to an active-duty component brigade combat team that is deploying to the United Kingdom as part of the European Deterrence Initiative.

Before Soldiers deploy to their duty location, they are tested on a wide variety of skills — known as Army Warrior Tasks — such as reacting to enemy contact, first aid, how to conduct patrols and responding to a vehicle roll over.  While Soldiers are ensuring they have the skills they may need to survive combat, they are all also strengthening relationships with one another that they will carry downrange, while deployed, and in many cases, throughout the rest of their lives.

“I’m new to the unit and meeting some people for the first time,” said Sgt. Tommie Berry, a senior engagement controller who volunteered to deploy with the mission command element. “It’s been a pretty easy transition, everyone is staying focused and just making sure we are ready to go.”

Many of the instructors for the training leading up to the deployment are from within the brigade as well, from the 2nd Battalion, 174th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, bringing their valuable combat experience to help prepare their peers for the challenges ahead. Members of the 2-174th returned from Afghanistan and Iraq earlier this year, where they operated counter-rocket, artillery and mortar (C-RAM) operations to protect U.S. and allied bases. During their yearlong deployment, no enemy artillery attacks made it past their watch.

“We’re part of something that’s larger than us and the Soldiers seem to be pretty happy with conducting missions,” Moore said. “It’s a great organization to be a part of.”

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