Air Defense Artillery Humvee Avenger weapons system disquised in camo in woods.

Photos by Charles Rosemond, Training Support Activity Europe Public Affairs

An Air Defense Artillery Humvee Avenger weapons system assigned to Battery C, 1st Battalion, 174th Air Defense Artillery Regiment sits emplaced during exercise Combined Resolve XI Dec. 7, 2018, at Hohenfels Training Area, Germany. Combined Resolve XI is a biannual exercise that serves as the combat training center certification exercise for regionally allocated forces. This iteration of the exercise takes place in two phases at the Grafenwoehr and Hohenfels training areas between Nov. 26-Dec. 14, 2018, and Jan. 13-25, 2019.

Ohio Air Defenders Rule the Skies During opperation Combined Resolve XI

Story by Capt. Aaron Smith, 174 Air Defense Artillery Brigade Public Affairs

HOHENFELS, Germany (01/08/19)

Staff Sgt. George B. Davis, Ohio National Guard Public Affairs


For over two weeks, Soldiers of Battery C, 1st Battalion, 174th Air Defense Artillery Regiment maneuvered their Avenger Weapons Systems and engaged simulated enemy aircraft alongside more than 5,500 troops during the force-on-force portion of the Operation Combined Resolve XI exercise, Nov. 26 to Dec 17.

Sixteen nations participated in the biannual exercise, which is designed to assess and increase the readiness and lethality of the U.S. Army rotational forces, and build interoperability among allies and partners.

The exercise is conducted in two phases, the first focused on simulated combat operations at the Joint Multinational Training Center in Hohenfels. The second phase includes live-fire exercises and will take place at the Grafenwoehr Training Area Jan. 13-25.

During the course of the exercise, Capt. Christopher Vasquez, Battery C commander, served in two roles: first, in his primary role, and also as the brigade air defense officer for the unit’s higher headquarters during the exercise — 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Calvary Division.

“It has been very eye-opening,” Vasquez said. “I am learning a great deal more seeing it from the brigade perspective.”

Battery C outmaneuvered the opposing forces, successfully engaging 15 simulated enemy aircraft with the Avenger and Stinger systems while providing air defense to eight assets deemed critical by 1-1 Cavalry.

Vasquez attributes the success of his unit to the diverse experience of his Soldiers, many of whom have firsthand knowledge working with tanks such as those assigned to 1-1 Cavalry. “It’s given us some insight into how they fight, and how they operate,” Vasquez said. “The type of unit we are attached to dictates how we establish our air defense plan, so if we don’t understand how tanks maneuver, how they emplace, then we can’t effectively do our job.”

Capt. Cordtz Tuato’o, an observer controller trainer with 1st Battalion, 362nd Air Defense Artillery Regiment who has been providing mentorship and training for Battery C since August 2017, commended the unit’s performance during Combined Resolve.

“It is great watching the unit grow and evolve,” Tuato’o said. “The unit has improved tremendously.”

Throughout the exercise, Soldiers had the opportunity to work with many of the 16 nations participating in the simulated combat operations, which allowed the unit to continue to build joint, multinational relationships and improve communication among the countries involved.

“There are many limiting factors that are outside of our control,” Vasquez said. “But our Soldiers have adapted very well, and have conducted their jobs very effectively. Having conducted this exercise at the outset of our mobilization and our time here in Europe, we will be able to substantially build upon those lessons learned.”

Battery C, 1st Battalion, 174th Air Defense Artillery Regiment is currently deployed to Grafenwoehr in support of the Operation Atlantic Resolve. The deployment of ready, combat-credible U.S. forces to Europe for the operation is evidence of the strong and unremitting U.S. commitment to NATO and Europe. Through bilateral, joint and multinational training, Atlantic Resolve builds readiness and enhances the bond between allied and partner militaries.