1-174th ADA Soldiers train in Guam during Exercise Forager 21
Story by Spc. Olivia Lauer, 196th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam (07/30/2021)
Soldiers assigned to 1st Battalion, 174th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, headquartered in Cincinnati, took part in Exercise Forager 21 in July on Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.
Throughout the exercise, 1-174th Soldiers trained with their Avenger Air Defense Systems and Sentinel radars. They also coordinated with other U.S. military units, as well as partners and allies. Forager 21 tested participants’ ability to conduct strategic deployment and joint operational maneuver of forces into and across the Indo-Pacific Theater.
“Especially as a National Guard unit, our ability to load up our equipment and move it all the way from Ohio to Guam demonstrates our ability to support force projection into different combatant commands and different theaters,” said Ohio Army National Guard Lt. Col. Millard Rife, the battalion commander.
The Avenger is a self-propelled surface-to-air missile system which provides mobile, short-range air defense (SHORAD) protection for ground units, while the Sentinel is a 3D radar used to alert and cue SHORAD weapons to the locations of hostile targets approaching their front-line forces.
While Batteries A and B set up at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Battery C traveled to Tinian, Northern Mariana Islands, on Army CH-47 Chinook helicopters. On Tinian, they were in an uncontrolled environment conducting operations and running drills 24 hours a day.
“It gives our Soldiers that real feel,” said Ohio Army National Guard Capt. Abby Schroll, Battery C commander. “You train as you fight. This gives us the confidence to go and be able to conduct our operations successfully.”
In the past year, Soldiers of the 1-174th have been called to action, providing varied support to their fellow Ohioans during the Ohio National Guard’s COVID-19 response, as well as a security mission in Washington D.C. Regardless of the current operations tempo, when it got the call to participate in Forager 21, the 1-174th was ready to go. This summer alone, subordinate units of the 174th Air Defense Artillery Brigade were simultaneously in Ohio, Guam and Europe for different missions. Rife said the Soldiers of the 1-174th come up in a culture where they are deployed to a lot of different environments.
“The sun doesn’t set on the 174th Brigade,” Rife said. “I think we’re ready. Our Soldiers have gained valuable proficiencies from this exercise, and we’ll continue to build upon that.”
Exercise Forager 21 is a U.S. Army Pacific exercise designed to test and refine the Army’s ability to deploy land power forces into the theater, execute command and control of those forces, and effectively employ them in support of U.S. allies, partners and national security objectives in the region.