Air Defenders learn "MAJIC"
OSAN AIR BASE - Sixteen Soldiers from the 35th Air Defense Artillery "Dragons" graduated from a two-week-long course about high tech data sharing here May 17. A mobile training team from Ft. Bragg, NC taught the Multi-Tactical Data Link Joint Interoperability Course, or MAJIC, that trains operators in the different ways that systems communicate on the modern battlefield.
Seventh Air Force Chief of Combat Operations, Col. Gary "Tonka" Rose, an F-15C fighter pilot, was the guest speaker and highlighted the importance of teamwork in air and missile defense efforts. "The situational awareness that [data sharing] brings to the fight cannot be overstated," said Rose. "Nobody can match our combined/joint efforts."
Interoperability, or the ability to communicate and work together, is key to the success of our forces and was made evident by the participation of 56 U.S. Army, Air Force, Marine and Navy students in the class, said Rose. The final result of such data sharing in the Korean theater of operations is the 35th ADA's capability to intercept airborne threats, noted Rose.
The course is designed for senior air defense system operators, typically staff sgt. and above, and the coursework is challenging, said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Steven Vogler, the command, control, communications, computers, & intelligence integrator for the 35th ADA.
"The fact that we have [privates] and specialists graduating this course today is a very big deal," said Vogler. "They worked hard the past two weeks and I'm really proud of them." Private 1st Class Mireydo Rodriguez and Pfc. Garrett Hart, early warning system operators with the 35th, were among the junior Soldiers completing the course.
"It took all of us working together to get through this course," said Rodriguez. "Working with [other services' personnel] was really good, like we were in one big joint unit." A typical day began at 4:30 a.m. for physical fitness training, or "PT"; included eight hours of classroom instruction and exercises; and up to 2.5 hours of study time in the evening, said Rodriguez.
"This was an amazing opportunity to learn these skills and take them back to my unit," said Hart. Also attending the graduation was Lt. Col. Michael Brandt, Deputy Commander of the 35th ADA, who praised the hard work and professionalism it took to graduate the course.