192nd Intelligence Squadron tests video streaming during Lane Reversal Exercise

Airmen from the 192nd Intelligence Squadron from Langley Air Force Base review a live video feed from a Virginia National Guard Lakota helicopter July 21, 2013, near Richmond. Virginia. National Guard personnel joined the Virginia State Police and the Virginia Departments of Emergency Management and Transportation to practice the state's I-64 Emergency Lane Reversal Plan between Richmond and Williamsburg. (Photo by Cotton Puryear, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs)

Airmen from the 192nd Intelligence Squadron from Langley Air Force Base review a live video feed from a Virginia National Guard Lakota helicopter July 21, 2013, near Richmond. Virginia. National Guard personnel joined the Virginia State Police and the Virginia Departments of Emergency Management and Transportation to practice the state’s I-64 Emergency Lane Reversal Plan between Richmond and Williamsburg. (Photo by Cotton Puryear, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs)

SANDSTON, Va. — Airmen from the 192nd Intelligence Squadron, 192nd Fighter Wing from Langley Air Force Base tested their ability to provide Incident Awareness and Assessment to civil authorities with full-motion video feed during a practice for the state’s I-64 Emergency Lane Reversal Plan held July 21, 2013. Using the Geospatial Information Interoperability Exploitation Portable system, the Airmen were able to feed video captured from a Virginia National Guard UH-72 Lakota helicopter straight to the Guard’s Joint Operations Center as well as to handheld receivers.

“This is a classic military support to civil authorities mission, and we are here to ensure the safety of Guard personnel, state police and emergency managers on the ground,” said Capt. Billy Giannetti, the 192nd IS Domestic Operations Program Manager. “Plus, it’s good practice for the Intelligence Squadron as we are honing our skills and reacting to a live scenario.”

Virginia National Guard personnel join the Virginia State Police and the Virginia Departments of Emergency Management and Transportation to practice the state’s I-64 Emergency Lane Reversal Plan between Richmond and Williamsburg. The partial lane reversals exercise closed a section of the interstate, and members of the Virginia Guard assisted state police at exits along the route. In addition, the exercise provided an opportunity to train on interagency coordination and test communications capabilities. A reversal can be ordered by the governor to speed the evacuation of the Hampton Roads region in the event of a hurricane or other disaster.

The 192nd IS supported the exercise with eight Airmen who provided IAA and coordinated with aviators flying the UH-72 from the Sandston-based Detachment 1, Company A, 2nd Battalion, 151st Aviation Regiment. Their objective was to ensure the safety of the exercise while providing on-the-spot updates to the Adjutant General of Virginia, the Joint Staff at the Joint Operations Center and civilian authorities.

To accomplish their goals, the Airmen of the 192nd IS and aviators teamed up to provide full motion video and imagery derived from the sensor aboard a UH-72 Lakota helicopter. As the Lakota flew, the 192nd IS monitored the exercise’s progress, reported gate closures to VDEM and provided overall, situational awareness.

Two Air Guard elements were positioned between the JOC and a ground station near a tactical operations center, which served as the focal point for the exercise’s activities. Both elements worked together to monitor the exercise in real time and provide still imagery products to VSP and VDEM controllers so they could evaluate the exercise and plan for future real-world incidents.

At the JOC, 192nd IS geospatial analysts received the near real-time footage and communicated via secure radio channels with the Lakota pilots to clarify additional needs. Using GIIEP, the entire mission was broadcast over the Internet to the JOC, providing a clear view of the lane reversal as it took place.

“This exercise was interesting because it brought together all the different groups from the military to VDEM and the VSP using assets we have to meet the mission,” said Tech. Sgt. Dawn Hedges, a geospatial analyst with the 192nd IS. “We were able to leverage technology and training we have completed on the federal side to complete the state mission.”

The ability to provide coverage during inclement weather or a natural disaster proves invaluable to senior leaders making decisions about where personnel and resources should be allocated.

“This was a golden opportunity to complete some great training using the full-motion video feed and create imagery products for the state,” said Giannetti. “It allows us the chance to give back to the people of Virginia, too, when we train at this level. The scenario closely mirrors how we would react during a real state response mission.”

The 192nd IS typically performs federal missions, delivering real-time, high-confidence intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance products to forces deployed abroad and other government agencies. This exercise allowed members of the IS to train for homeland defense and civil support. In case of an emergency, the IS can provide IAA via mobile communications equipment wherever and whenever directed, said Giannetti.

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