JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska --
When you receive short notice to get a job done, you do it. This is what the Jacksonville, North Carolina native did.
U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Keith Miranda, a 962nd Airborne Air Control Squadron surveillance evaluator, received a one-day notice to test a new Northern American Aerospace Defense network.
"The Alaska NORAD Region had very little notification to start testing the new NORAD network that will go live later this month," said Master Sgt. Norman Metz, the 3rd Operations Group superintendent. "Miranda received the tasking, hit the ground running, and we got some excellent feedback to push up to Continental NORAD region on the first day of the testing trial period."
When Miranda was given the task, he coordinated with two other members to execute the mission – the air surveillance officer and a communication technician.
Miranda first selected which initial data load files he wanted to test during the flight to a local training sortie. Miranda started the datalink test with the 176th Air Defense Sector when he got the confirmation from the communication technician that the load file was successfully uploaded.
The following equipment used during the testing period was the initial data load files, Opstalink, network description document, and the Joint Tactical Information Distribution System terminal on the aircraft.
"I initiated many J-series messages and got confirmation from the ADS, validating the location and specific J-series message that corresponded with one another," Miranda said. "After getting confirmation from the sector, I logged what I did, and notified the ASO and the mission crew commander on the successful result."
Miranda's critical role ensured there were no errors and the data transmitted was being received accurately between agencies. The testing is NORAD-wide, and the testing phase spans through the Continental NORAD Region, Canada NORAD Region, Alaska NORAD region, F-22 Raptor, F-35 Lightning, E-3 Sentry Airborne Early Warning and Control System, and the 176th ADS.
"Validating and establishing the new datalink network ensures we maintain air superiority," Metz said. "Testing and authenticating the new Opstalink and load files also ensures the network tables work."
Metz added the CONR is very impressed with what the ANR has accomplished so far, and he was not surprised to receive a call about Miranda's outstanding work.
Miranda's advice to anyone who also receives short-notice tasks is to have an open mind, try to stay in the now, and not get worked up on what can happen. Do your best at what you've been given and realized that no one is perfect and mistakes can happen.