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266 RANS saves DoD more than 870K

Members of the 266th Range Squadron pose in front of the Joint Threat Emitter Unit Feb. 16, 2012, at Pacific Beach, Wash. The 266th RANS personnel stationed at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, operate surface-to-air missile simulators helping test aircrew’s ability to recognize a threat then identify and react correctly according to the specific situation presented. (Courtesy photo)

Members of the 266th Range Squadron pose in front of the Joint Threat Emitter Unit Feb. 16, 2012, at Pacific Beach, Wash. The 266th RANS personnel stationed at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, operate surface-to-air missile simulators helping test aircrew’s ability to recognize a threat then identify and react correctly according to the specific situation presented. (Courtesy photo)

A 266th Range Control Squadron’s Threat Emitter Unit prepares to continue training during a joint-service training exercise Feb. 6, 2012, at Pacific Beach, Wash. By assisting Navy personnel with this two-week training, the 266th RANS Airmen from Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, helped save the Department of Defense approximately $870,000. (Courtesy photo)

A 266th Range Control Squadron’s Threat Emitter Unit prepares to continue training during a joint-service training exercise Feb. 6, 2012, at Pacific Beach, Wash. By assisting Navy personnel with this two-week training, the 266th RANS Airmen from Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, helped save the Department of Defense approximately $870,000. (Courtesy photo)

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- Personnel from the 266th Range Squadron have the unique and challenging mission of operating and maintaining the Joint Threat Emitter - an advanced electronic warfare training system.

Recently, 266th RANS Airmen conducted a joint-service training exercise with personnel from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Wash.

"Basically, we operate surface-to-air missile simulators," said Tech Sgt. Steven Jones, 266th RANS radar technician. "This training helps test the aircrew's ability to recognize the threat then identify and react correctly according to the specific situation presented."

By assisting Navy personnel with this two-week training, the 266th RANS helped save the Department of Defense approximately $872,000.

"Typically, the pilots fly the aircraft all the way to MHAFB from NAS Whidbey Island," said Master Sgt. Warren Davis, 266th RANS joint threat emitter work center assistant. "This time leadership decided to see if it would be more cost-effective and save some taxpayer money by having us drive out there."

According to Jones, it would have cost the DoD approximately $400,000 a week to fly here and back every week.

"Otherwise the pilots are flying from NAS Whidbey Island to MHAFB, participating in the training, then flying all the way back, and are doing this everyday for two weeks," said Jones.

The 266th RANS personnel were excited about the opportunity to assist a sister-service as well as get out and do some field training.

"We are taking our equipment to a foreign area and dealing with any adversity as it comes," said Davis. "Our threat system worked great by tracking the aircraft from the ground then giving off electronic signatures which, inside the aircraft, are viewed as hostile enemy targets they can then react to."

This training exercise was praised by 266th RANS radar experts.

"This exercise went exceptionally well," said Jones. "When you head into this type of an exercise, we really have no idea what to expect. We had the right team in place and things went extremely well."

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