Textron AirLand Scorpion participates in USNORTHCOM’s VIGILANT GUARD exercise
Textron AirLand, LLC, a joint venture between Textron Inc. and AirLand Enterprises, LLC, announced on August 15 that its Scorpion aircraft has completed operations in support of VIGILANT GUARD 2014, a Northern Command and Kansas National Guard training exercise demonstrating the capabilities of emergency response agencies at all levels of government, both military and civil.
With over 2,000 local, state, and federal personnel participating, Scorpion provided color High Definition multi-spectral aerial reconnaissance full motion video and communications with other aircraft and ground stations from 4-6 August 2014.
Demonstrating a 100% mission availability rate, Scorpion supported rapidly changing events on the ground, providing the Joint Task Force Commander crucial incident awareness to dynamically re-task surveillance and first responder teams as the complex disaster relief scenarios evolved.
“It was great to start operationally testing Scorpion at home in Kansas in real-world scenarios and provide validation that our aircraft design and performance goals are exactly what we had hoped for”
Integration of the Helmet Mounted Cueing System (HMCS) enabled Textron AirLand’s Mission Commander, Andy Vaughan, also a Guardsman and A-10C pilot, to maintain eyes on target while managing the electro optical and infrared sensor for optimal full-motion imagery downlink feed to the Kansas Air National Guard 184th Intelligence Wing Geospatial Operations Analysis Team.
With Scorpion’s video feed, the 184th IW was able to create and disseminate 30 complex intelligence assessment products to the 35th Infantry Division Tactical Operations Center (TOC) and Joint Task Force Commander for decisive and efficient command and control of first responder personnel.
“It was great to start operationally testing Scorpion at home in Kansas in real-world scenarios and provide validation that our aircraft design and performance goals are exactly what we had hoped for,” said Vaughan, after completing the VIGILANT GUARD missions. Scorpion participated in a variety of scenarios which included a simulated train derailment, chemical spill, infrastructure damage, medical evacuations and recovery operations. These activities were coordinated daily with Army North Command and Northern Command operations staff.
Only eight months after first flight and having just returned from its international debut in Europe, Scorpion continues to demonstrate the reliability of its commercial best-practices development heritage and proven systems integration to perform these Air National Guard Title 10 and 32 missions and validate its efficient operating economics. With an affordable acquisition and operating cost, Scorpion’s value proposition and diverse multi-mission integration capabilities are unmatched by other aircraft platforms, said a Textron news release.