109th ACS prepares for upcoming deployment Published May 2, 2010 By Airman 1st Class Emily Hoferitza 151st ARW/PA SALT LAKE CITY -- The 109th Air Control Squadron recently participated in an exercise in Wendover, Utah in preparation for their upcoming deployment. Their mission was to provide radar and radio communications to a separate part of the unit that remained at the Utah Air National Guard base. 2nd Lt. Dan Topham, the maintenance communications information systems officer for the 109th ACS, said that the unit was separated into two groups: an air battle element, which stayed at the ANG base, and a separate group which relocated to the radar site. Lieutenant Topham said the remote location "allows controllers to communicate and gives an extended field of vision to control aircraft from remote locations." The exercise gives Guardsmen a chance to work with the equipment they would use in a deployed environment. Chief Master Sgt. David Colton, maintenance network manager for the 109th ACS, said the exercise is beneficial for real-world training. "The greatest benefit of the exercise is being able to practice on our equipment," he explained. "The traditional Guardsmen don't get a lot of time on the equipment during a regular UTA." Master Sgt. James Dekanich, the 1st Sgt. for the 109th, said this exercise is important for training as if they were in a deployed environment. "It's important because the unit does a job that protects the soldiers on the ground when they deploy," he said. Overall, Lieutenant Topham said the mission went smoothly. He said that they accomplished their goals early in the exercise. "This exercise allowed us to train as if we were in a real-world environment," he said. The unit is scheduled to deploy at the end of June.