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Combat Shield enters Mountain Home AFB

A Airman connects two cords.

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Christopher Thompson, 87th Electronic Warfare Squadron combat shield supervisor connects the cords between the USM-642 and the coupler at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, June 22, 2021. Thompson is part of the Combat Shield exercise which test the functionality of electronic warfare on jets. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Akeem K. Campbell)

Two Airmen inspect the Radar Warning Receiver

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Anthony Gilbert, (left) and Airman 1st Class Patrick Hamilton 389th Fighter Squadron avionics specialists view the functionality of the Radar Warning Receiver during Combat Shield at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, June 22, 2021. The RWR is a defensive suite that detects air-to-air or air-to-ground missiles. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Akeem K. Campbell)

The Combat Shield members look at the data from the Radar Warning Receiver.

Airmen of the Combat Shield team view the data from the Radar Warning Receiver (RWR) by operating the USM-642 at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, June 22, 2021. The USM-642 communicates with the RWR and lets the viewer know how effective the RWR is when detecting air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Akeem K. Campbell)

A Airman places a coupler on a F-15E Strike Eagle jet.

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Vanessa Torres, 87th Electronic Warfare Squadron combat shield technician, installs a coupler to an F-15E Strike Eagle at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, June 22, 2021. The coupler is a communication device between the Radar Warfare Receiver (RWR) and the USM-642 which makes it possible for the Combat Shield team to evaluate the RWR. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Akeem K. Campbell)

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- The 366th Fighter Wing hosted members from Eglin and Nellis Air Force Base during Combat Shield, June 21-25.

Combat Shield is a training assessment that tests the effectiveness and functionality of a units’ aircraft electronic warfare systems. There are two teams in Combat Shield: a Maintenance team which tests the electronic warfare functionality and a Cyber team which inspects the software in the support equipment.

“Each year the Combat Shield team comes out to hook up their test equipment to all of our aircraft individually and support equipment,” said Tech. Sgt. Bryce Tenney, 366th Fighter Wing A4 wing avionics manager. “We get a pass or fail rating for each aircraft that adds up to a final grade for the readiness of the Wing when in a combat area that has radar related threats.”

This year, however, they’ve added a new component to the assessment.

“One of the newer things that they are doing out here is the cyber portion,” said Maj. Richard Allred, 391st Fighter Squadron wing electronic warfare officer. “When we load our software into the jets there’s possibilities of introducing viruses into the system. So, they test the cyber portion of it to make sure we are not introducing viruses into our systems.”

The electronic warfare systems the team tested was a Radar Warfare Receiver (RWR) and the Joint Services Electronic Combat System Tester (JSECST). An RWR is a Defensive suite in a jet that warns the pilot of incoming air-to-air and air-to-ground threats, and a JSECST tests the RWR and the cables to make sure they are working properly.

Once they have all the data from the tests, the 366th Fighter Wing looks over the results and adjust to what may need to be improved.

“We typically have a good result, especially after the last eight years,” Tenney said. “Last year I believe our final out was a 94 percent pass rate and we’re hoping to get something like that again this year.”

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