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NEWS | Nov. 20, 2021

Virginia National Guard Supports Bold Quest 21

By Staff Sgt. Bryan Myhr | 192nd Wing Public Affairs

Soldiers and Airmen assigned to the Virginia National Guard provided operational support to Joint Staff sponsored Coalition Capability Demonstration and Assessment event Bold Quest 21.2 at Camp Atterbury and Muscatatuck Urban Training Center, Indiana, Oct. 18 through Nov. 18, 2021. Units supporting the event included the 91st Cyber Brigade, 192nd Wing and 192nd Medical Group.

“The 91st Cyber Brigade led the U.S. effort in developing tactics, techniques and procedures of concept of operations, for doing the multi-national cyber network policies we were working to set up,” said Army Col. David Bennett, Virginia National Guard chief of the joint staff. “They did remarkable work, they just knocked it out of the park.” During Bold Quest, Bennett served as the Joint Interface Control officer, dealing with operational tactical data links, and multi-domain operations. 

The Bold Quest series of events aims to improve interoperability across systems, services, and nations. Bold Quest cultivates effective and efficient information exchange promptly to provide better support to troops on the ground. This provides the warfighters with better knowledge and situational awareness to make better decision-making in lethal joint and coalition operations. On the other hand, Bold Quest provides a venue for new concepts to be put into action. For example, the U.S. Navy is testing a Naval Surface Fire Support Messaging system. 

"It's a wonderful opportunity to communicate across the [organizational] lines," said U.S. Navy Cmdr. Lee Dortzbach, Bold Quest 21.2 Assistant Operations Officer. "The first digital call for fires was accomplished in 2013 as part of the Joint Fire Support, Joint Mission Thread initiative, bridging language and system barriers. That enables us to work together in a coalition environment."

“The other thing that was just fantastic; Col. Yang led the new medical thread for Bold Quest,” said Bennett. “They have never had a medical thread at Bold Quest and that was a super success.”

Air Force Col. Frank Yang, 192nd Medical Group commander, provided Force Health Protection support and field tested new technologies including live biometrics devices that could let a single medical technician monitor vital signs for up to 15 casualties at once. “It really is a big team,” said Yang. “We had Military medical students, Army and Navy assistance, we had interest from other nations, so it really takes a whole lot of parties to make this happen.”

The concept of "Bold Quest" was conceived and approved in 2001. The first operational demonstration was in 2003. Australia, Canada. Denmark, France, and Great Britain were the first NATO-allied countries to perform in the Bold Quest.  This year, twenty-two allied and NATO countries are participating in this event.

“The bottom line is that if we’re going to ask our coalition partners to fight with us, we have to provide the opportunity to work out the interoperability and the command and control issues that are there,” said Bennett.

Located south of Indianapolis, Indiana, Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center totals over 36,000 acres. It is one of the Midwest's premier training areas open year-round to serve the training requirements of all branches of military forces and federal and local law enforcement and other agencies. At nearly five miles wide by 11 miles deep, it offers a variety of terrain and vegetation features that range from level and gently rolling open terrain to hilly wooded forests. Muscatatuck Urban Training Center is located east of North Vernon, Indiana. It totals over 1,000 acres.

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