Raytheon 727 testbed participates in Valiant Shield

Raytheon Multi-Program Testbed (RMT) Boeing 727-223, N289MT, was one of the more unusual participants in Valiant Shield 22 (VS 22), the ninth iteration of the biennial exercise.

Raytheon 727 testbed
Raytheon Multi-Program Testbed Boeing 727-223 N289MT, which participated in Valiant Shield 22 at Andersen AFB, Guam USAF/505th Command and Control Wing/Shelton Keel

The US Air Force’s 505th Command and Control Wing provided details of its involvement in a press release on August 3. Central to VS 22 was the first ever  Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) ‘best of breed’ demonstration, where US military service components were given the opportunity to execute their own vision using current technology to turn concepts into reality. JADC2 is the US Department of Defense’s vision for a future command and control construct that connects the battlespace cross every domain.

Airmen from the 605th Test and Evaluation Squadron (TES), Detachment 3, at the Common Mission Control Center (CMCC), Beale AFB, California, informed the USAF’s approach to realizing its contribution to JADC2, the Advanced Battle Management System, during VS 22. The CMCC’s direct support to combatant commanders provides the most comprehensive situational understanding of operations while allowing them to synchronize multi-domain effects.

During the exercise, the CMCC enhanced real-world situational awareness by feeding the joint force through detecting, locating, tracking and directing engagement of units at sea, on the land, in the air and in cyberspace. The CMCC provided capabilities for improving critical command and control (C2) and battlespace awareness functions which include: over the horizon target custody across distributed C2 nodes, decreasing the time required for electronic order of battle updates and rapid dissemination of enemy locations from emerging and traditional intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities, such as the RMT-727 and US Air Force MQ-9A Reaper.

 USAF Lt Col Mikita Brown, 605th TES, Det 3 commander, said: “These demonstrations are critical to the transformation and dissemination of targeting and intelligence information to achieve the goal of sensor-to-shooter connections.” US Navy Rear Admiral Robb Chadwick, VS 22 Joint Exercise Control Group director, said: “This exercise was the perfect opportunity to conduct integrated deterrence, which was the cornerstone of our approach.”

 Raytheon’s RMT-727 was originally delivered new to American Airlines as N710AA (c/n 22467) on July 15, 1981. After being withdrawn by the airline, it was acquired by Raytheon on February 19, 2002, when it was re-registered as N289MT. Conversion into the Raytheon Multi-Program Testbed for new avionics included grafting on an F-15 Eagle nose, giving it a very distinctive appearance.

VS field training exercises are biennial, joint exercises focused on enhancing integration between the US forces by conducting joint domain operations at sea, on land, in air, and in cyberspace. US Indo-Pacific Command headquarters staff forward deployed a joint-force headquarters to Andersen AFB, Guam, for the 12-day VS 22 exercise, which ran from June 1-17. VS 22 provided a venue to support the demonstration of USINDOPACOM’s forward presence in the Western Pacific, while supporting the test of current and new technologies and platforms, to advance critical areas such as multi-intelligence, artificial intelligence, and long-range fire experiments.  The exercise took place in the Joint Region Marianas area of operations including Palau, Naval Base Guam, Andersen AFB and the off-shore Mariana Island Range Complex, with some training events also occurring in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. The exercise balanced real-world assurance with competitive overmatch for the theatre’s rapid procurement campaign strategy.