On a site many people have never heard of, located more than 75 miles away from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, a secure facility provides Air Force aircrews some of the armed forces’ most advanced training.
The Snyder Electronic Scoring Site offers ‘real world’ airpower threat-reaction training to aircrews to ensure the survivability of personnel and equipment in actual battle situations.
“We [play] the bad guys on the ground,” said William Clingenpeel, site manager. “We send up signals that simulate tracking radar, antiaircraft artillery and surface-to-air-missiles. It’s the aircrew’s job to avoid us, get in there and do their damage.”
The primary customers of this site include the B-1 Bomber and B-52 Stratofortress, as well as training aircraft such as the F-15 Fighter and EC-130 transport plane.
“Snyder ESS equipment and the professional team running the systems are crucial to the success of the weapons school syllabus,” said Lt. Col. Jeffrey Haynes, 77th Weapons Squadron commander. “They provide invaluable training for teaching our graduates proper defense of the B-1 in a threat-heavy environment.”
What makes the facility tick is equipment units like the Multiple Threat Emitter System, smaller Mini-MUTES, threat reaction analysis indicator system, route instrumentation integration system and the integrated tactics assessment system.
The MUTES is a threat simulator that consists of 20 transmitters, 19 of which are used to simulate more than 70 different electronic threat systems. The Mini-MUTES, which are geographically separated from the main facility at four remote locations, are used to create a multiple threat signal environment characteristic of integrated air defense systems.
“Both systems transmit signals that are interpreted by bombers as antiaircraft weapons, surface-to-air missiles and tracking radar,” Clingenpeel said.
Computer-based systems collect the data and evaluate an aircrew’s response to signals sent by the MUTES, giving aircrews feedback on their training sortie performances.
“The training this site provides our aircrews is vital to their success while engaging in overseas contingencies,” said Frank Easley, range manager. “Our main priority is to bring our guys home. We want to ensure they’re prepared for any situation they could ever encounter.”
In addition to the electronic warfare threat simulators, the site has mock-up targets with heat sources the aircrews use to test on-board sniper pod equipment.
Mock-up targets such as SA-2 Surface-to-Air Missiles and 2S6 M Self-Propelled Air Defense Vehicles are scattered throughout the main facility and remote locations.
“Our main facility along with the remote sites creates a 3,200 square mile range for aircrews to operate within,” Easley added. “It gives our aircrews vast insight to what they can expect when penetrating enemy airspace that is equipped with these types of counter measures.”
“Bottom-line, the Snyder ESS team is a critical part of Team Dyess; ensuring our nation maintains Global Reach-Global Power with the lethal B-1,” Haynes said.