AF tests Commando Parrot at Vandenberg
532nd Training Squadron
/ Published January 22, 2009
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --
Military personnel from across the country tested the Commando Parrot, a Blue Force Tracking data relay, Nov. 17-21 here.
Commando Parrot assists the Air Force Special Operations Command in maintaining better situational awareness while conducting training and mission rehearsals.
Special Operations personnel will carry a small transmitter that sends location information to the Commando Parrot mounted on an aircraft, which then relays the data back to the operations center giving direction. The added situational awareness aids in directing ingress, egress and possible rescue if needed during the mission scenario.
The recent flights were conducted to test the miniaturized version of the Commando Parrot prototype, which is about one-third the size of the previous version, to ensure there was no internal radio frequency interference and to determine the maximum operating range.
The Commando Parrot was carried aloft by a Predator surrogate, a heavily modified Cessna SkyMaster called a Pelican flown out of the Paso Robles Airport in Paso Robles, Calif. The signals were then received via a 50-foot high antenna and tactical receiver at the temporary operations test center at the 532d TRS and displayed using Falcon View.
"The entire Commando Parrot Team wishes to thank the 381st Training Group commander, Col. (Stella) Renner, and the 532d Training Squadron commander, Lt. Col. Suzet Schreier, for the fabulous support they gave our team while visiting Vandenberg Air Force Base," said Maj. Dave Edney, chief of Warfighter Support for the Air Force Agency for Modeling and Simulation
. "Your support directly increases mission effectiveness while keeping our special operations personnel safer while in harm's way."