Tech Warrior Participants Arrive Untested on the Battlefield; Leave as Technological Warriors

Tech Warrior Participants Arrive Untested on the Battlefield; Leave as Technological Warriors image
September 30, 2015 | Source: Bryan Ripple, 88th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

"We created a great model for this exercise and what I think is good about it is that it is scalable. We can add more sites, more types of scenarios, we can have more people at more locations doing various different things and the exercise could actually grow."

FAIRBORN, Ohio -  -- There is an old saying that "If you want to understand why someone thinks or acts the way they do, try walking a mile in their shoes."  The Air Force Research Laboratory's Tech Warrior 2015 exercise held Sept. 9-17 at Wright State University's National Center for Medical Readiness (NCMR) in Fairborn, Ohio provided about 200 military and civilian personnel the chance to do exactly that.

The shoes they were trying to fill were actually combat boots-those of Airmen deployed to a bare base forward operating location as part of a wartime exercise scenario carefully scripted to provide realistic events through the knowledge and experience of seasoned staff members with who have completed multiple overseas deployments. Subject matter experts such as Army National Guard Lt. Col. James Eriksen, himself an Army Ranger was on the scene providing valuable combat skills training. For the exercise participants, most of whom were research scientists and engineers who normally work in laboratory settings developing technologies for use on the battlefield, in the skies over them, or in the cyber domain, the event provided valuable experience in a simulated operational environment that will help shape future ways of thinking about new technologies developed for the battlefield Airman.

Wearing Airman Battle Uniforms, helmets, Kevlar vests, and carrying M-16 rifles and chemical protective ensembles, the exercise participants arrived at the dusty field at the NCMR, known as Calamityville, and soon built the site into a base camp with defendable entry control points located on the perimeter in an effort to provide them a better understanding of what service members experience in combat.