Bold Move

By Thomas Duffy / October 27, 2009 at 5:00 AM

This morning at Camp Lejeune, NC, and the Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, NC, warfighters from the United States and 10 allied countries start a nine-day exercise to assess air-to-ground identification systems with an eye toward reducing friendly fire incidents.

Called “Bold Quest 09,” the exercise is being run by U.S. Joint Forces Command. This is the seventh consecutive annual Bold Quest event organized by the command.

The command provided the following description in a statement issued yesterday:

In 2008, U.S. and allied consensus endorsed the continuation of Bold Quest assessments on a recurring basis. Bold Quest 2009 (BQ09) is scheduled in October and November 2009 at Camp Lejeune, N.C. Four U.S. services, U.S. Special Operations Command and 11 nations’ militaries will deploy ground and aviation elements to assess air-to-ground target identification solutions for fixed wing aircrew, forward air controller and joint terminal attack controller employment. Concept development for future Bold Quest initiatives in 2010 and beyond is in progress.

The BQ09 technical initiatives include prototype systems that enable aircrew and controllers to digitally exchange position information with friendly ground elements relative to their presence in the vicinity of potential ground targets. The expected outcome will improve the engagement process and reduce the risk of fratricide.

The command said that past Bold Quest exercises looked at the ability of ground forces to work with and identify each other. This year's event will assess how aircrews carry out the same duties.