MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
Marines with Marine Air Support Squadron 1 watched as AV-8B Harriers passed directly overhead Wednesday, as they built a simulated Direct Air Support Center not far from the end of one of Cherry Point’s runways.
MASS-1 and Marine Air Control Group 28 began a DASC drill to get hands-on training with the common aviation command and control system 2, commonly dubbed the CAC2-S, and train personnel with applicable scenarios.
The CAC2-S is an upgrade from a previous system and helps the communication and support Marines paint a better picture of the battlefield.
“The CAC2-S is a suite of applications and system enhancements that improve the DASC capabilities,” said Staff Sgt. Scott Webb, a DASC crew chief with MASS-1. “We have a joint range extension and we are able to see the Link-16 capabilities.”
Link-16 is a digital network that connects multiple aircraft to each other and the communication personnel, giving all elements better situational awareness.
1st Lt. Pedro Rodriguez, the drill officer in charge, said the exercise is a doctrinal linear scenario where the ground combat element conducts an amphibious assault to shore. MASS-1 fills in by supporting the ground combat element with communications for close-air and assault support.
“The scenario chosen brings us back to our roots of being more amphibious and out of the Afghanistan mindset,” said Rodriguez.
MASS-1 personnel conduct DASC or a Marine Air Command and Control Systems Training Exercises, commonly dubbed MISTEX, every two to three months.
Rodriguez said, with the squadron having a high rate of personnel entering and exiting the squadron, it was important to keep all personnel current and prepared for missions ahead.
“Chuck Norris is scared of only one thing,” said Webb. “And that is the MACCS, the Marine Air Command Control System, in action.”