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Cyberspace test unit plays important role in Bold Quest 22

  • Published
  • By Samuel King Jr.

Airmen and civilians from the 46th Test Squadron played a critical role in this year’s Bold Quest event hosted at Fort Stewart, Georgia in August.

Bold Quest 22 is a large-scale demonstration event which provides a large command and control testing environment across air, land, and sea that incorporates the United States and partner nations. The goal is to improve tactical procedures focused on the technical ability of military communication and information systems to operate together.

“Bold Quest is a one-of-a-kind test and demonstration event. It affords my team the opportunity to work with over 1000 participants from 19 partner nations,” said Capt. John Hamm, the 46 TS Datalink flight commander.  “The event is essential to discovering shortcomings which get in the way of our equipment functioning cohesively, before it sees the battlefield.”

The test squadron’s team was an integral part providing coalition intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance technologies as well as both digitally aided and traditional close air support data management. For the CISR portion, the test team used their cutting edge technology to replicate unmanned aerial vehicle platforms to disseminate video and metadata. They also replicated an E-8 JSTARS aircraft moving target data stream and the team operated a mobile communication and data collection suite enabling digitally aided close-air support.

The team’s primary focus was managing the combined joint interface control cell.  The JICC provided approximately five different communication platforms in support of the various Bold Quest 22 exercises. At the JICC, the team supported information-sharing programs for systems being tested. By doing this, they provided real-time monitoring and data collection of datalink networks.  

The 46th TS members bring together their expertise to manage multiple communication tools and networks simultaneously. The team of Airmen, contractors and civilians, many of whom have decades of experience working on tactical datalink systems for the Air Force and other DOD branches. Merging the technical knowledge of our latest systems with the experience of subject experts allows the team to excel in complex communication environments such as Bold Quest.

“Comprehensive events like Bold Quest support emerging joint all domain concepts,” said Lt. Col. Jennifer Massett.  “The test scenarios accomplished daily by the hardworking members of the 46th TS will enable faster coalition decision-making, improve the ability of military systems to operate together, and increase our combined lethality.”