The Eye In The Sky
By Spc. Erin J. Quirke – 115th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

Waimanalo, Hawaii, July 17, 2012 -- Tiger Balm, the bilateral exercise between the Hawaii Army National Guard and Singapore Armed Forces, consists mainly of computer simulated ground mission exercises. However, with the help of the Oregon Air National Guard, Tiger Balm personnel are given the opportunity to view their mission from a bird's eye view.

Tiger Balm has four air liaison officers, or ALO's, participating in the exercise this year. Two will represent the higher control, or HICON, ALO's and the other two will be separated amongst the Hawaii Army National Guard and the Singapore Armed Forces.

"We're here to help allocate air assets to help provide the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance for any mission," said Lt. Col. James Mitchell, the commander of the 116th Air Control Squadron and a HICON air liaison officer at Tiger Balm. "We help coordinate and advise exactly how to use the ‘eye in the sky' concept."

Mitchell, who is participating in his third Tiger Balm exercise, also said that joint coalition exercises make for a more dynamic learning environment.

Air surveillance is not a new concept to the Tiger Balm exercise, but an important and invaluable asset to the exercise missions.

"We are basically working as air command and control over any given area of operations," said Maj. Keith Townsend, the operations officer for the 116th Air Control Squadron and a HICON air liaison officer at Tiger Balm. "Tiger Balm is the perfect exercise for allowing combined operations to see the value of integrated weapons applications."

With the computer simulated ground forces and the advantage of viewing a mission from the clouds, Tiger Balm provides an enriched and versatile learning environment with the assistance of the Oregon Air National Guard.