BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --
Recently a team of warfighters from the 460th Operations Group came together August 29 through September 14, 2018 to help support the ground test, GTD-07b, hosted by the Missile Defense Agency at the Missile Defense Integration and Operations Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. This international ground test addressed the defense of United States European Command and collected a body of evidence to validate the system level assessment of the deployment of the European Phased Adaptive Approach, Phase Three.
The team, commanded by 1st Lt Monica Tran from 460th Operations Support Squadron Weapons and Tactics Flight; with expertise provided by Senior Airman Tucker Breitung from the 460 OG Standardization and Evaluation Division, Staff Sgt. Collins Siwa and Airman 1st Class Evan Watt from the 11 Space Warning Squadron, and Staff Sgt. Emily Keller from 8 SWS, responded to 29 simulated dynamic missile launches within United States Strategic Command’s timing criteria, totaling over 100 operational hours.
Like most things in life, nothing is perfect, MDA test GTD-07b also had the added dynamic of Hurricane Florence during the first week of the test. Hurricane Florence was the first major hurricane of the year in the Atlantic Ocean and posed a significant threat to the eastern coastline, where a few of the key ground test personnel are based out of. The threat of evacuation and early suspension of the test was extremely high, however, testing persisted and the team managed to gather enough data to validate the system and still evacuate all personnel in time. By the end of testing, GTD-07b had validated and certified a new system, which allowed for better surveillance, tracking, and characterization of missile threats and/or space objects, over the European theater.