Readiness and modernization remain fixtures among the Army's top priorities, both of which are initiatives 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade is addressing as the brigade upgrades their Patriot fleet. Upon completion of the largest Patriot modernization project ever conducted outside a depot facility, the Dragon Brigade will operate with the most technological advanced equipment within the ADA community.
Furthermore, the brigade will execute a comprehensive new equipment training cycle to maintain Fight Tonight readiness throughout the transition. This article is part of a three-part series that will follow the modernization and readiness effort as it materializes.
The 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade is executing the largest Patriot modernization project ever conducted outside a depot facility. A move that will place the brigade as the most lethal ADA brigade in the U.S. Army.
Three C-5 Super Galaxies from Travis Air Force Base, California, transported Patriot equipment to Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Jan. 25-26, 2017 to support the historical project.
"The Patriot equipment sets flown here from the states are key and critical for the Dragon Brigade to maintain Fight Tonight readiness while we modernize our Patriot weapon systems in the Republic of Korea," said Col. Mark Holler, 35th ADA brigade commander.
The equipment was offloaded and transported to nearby Suwon Air Base, where defense contractors from Raytheon and the Lower Tier Project Office will begin the mass overhaul.
"The smooth execution of the multi-faceted mission to receive, stage and conduct onward movement of this Patriot equipment is a testament to the professionalism of the Soldiers, Airmen and DOD Civilians serving in Korea," said Holler.
When the project is complete, the brigade's Patriot fleet will employ Post Deployment Build 8.0 technology, cementing the Dragon Brigade as the only air defense artillery brigade in the Army fully equipped with the most modern and advanced capabilities within the ADA community.
"There's a lot of excitement around the brigade, because we're doing something that's never been done before," said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Tara Gibbs. "The new technology is a game-changer, and it will significantly reduce maintenance requirements."
Some of the most notable improvements include software to operate new radar circuitry, upgrades to increase wide band search sensitivity, flat panel monitors with touch screen technology, built-in test equipment, and the replacement of many legacy hardware systems with smaller more capable units.
As Patriot system pass through the modernization process, battalions will concurrently conduct a robust new equipment training cycle to ensure each crew is properly trained to employ the new equipment.
The Korean Peninsula remains complex due to North Korea's advancing technology and frequency of missile launches, reinforcing the value of modernizing the 35th ADA Brigade Patriot fleet.