Highlander Soldiers Assist USAF Weapons Demonstration
MCGREGOR RANGE, NM — A United States Air Force General visited with Soldiers from 2nd Squadron, 13th Cavalry Regiment and USAF’s 7th Air Support Operations Squadron to observe weapon systems demonstrations Dec. 7.
GEN William M. Fraser III, Commander of Air Combat Command, headquartered at Langley Air Force Base, Va., and Air Component Commander for U.S. Joint Forces Command got an up-close look at the next generation of a common remotely-operated weapons station (CROWS) an updated version with more options to protect service members and defeat insurgents.
SGT Richard White, a combat engineer assigned to C Company, 4th Special Troops Battalion of 4th Brigade, 1st Armored Division was on hand to assist in the demonstration of the CROWS capabilities.
“The last unit I was in used these downrange in Iraq. We would have one with us mounted on a humvee when we conducted route clearance missions,” said White.
The system used for demonstration was a .50 caliber weapon mounted on an M-ATV, a variation on the Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle in an All Terrain Vehicle configuration.
“The system operates much like a video game, with a joystick, camera and monitor showing the crosshairs,” said Air Force Master Sgt. Michael Haytack, Chief of Standardizations and Evaluations for 7th ASOS.
Fraser also had a hands-on demonstration of the Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight mounted on an M-4 weapon.
“I like the (ACOG) better than the red-dot optical currently fielded,” said Fraser after firing a round with the ACOG.
The last demonstration was of a Shadow Unmanned Aerial Vehicle provided by 4th Bde. 1st Armored Div.
“In essence, a visit like this lets Gen. Fraser understand the basic issues our squadron is having, and it provides a sort of feedback forum for the equipment getting fielded right now,” said Haytack.
As the commander, Fraser is responsible for organizing, training, equipping and maintaining combat-ready forces for rapid deployment and employment while ensuring strategic air defense forces are ready to meet the challenges of peacetime air sovereignty and wartime defense.
As the Combat Air Forces lead agent, ACC develops strategy, doctrine, concepts, tactics, and procedures for air and space power employment. The command provides conventional and information warfare forces to all unified commands to ensure air, space and information superiority for warfighters and national decision-makers. ACC can also be called upon to assist national agencies with intelligence, surveillance and crisis response capabilities.