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NEWS | June 21, 2021

Three DLDs Team Up!

By Maj. William C. Allred 412th Theater Engineer Command

The 206th Digital Liaison Detachment (DLD) joined efforts with the 207th and 208th DLDs at Fort Carson in June to synchronize indirect targeting systems across the combined joint spectrum where none previously existed.

Nations and separate military branches acquire their systems on different schedules from distinct providers leading to some having older or unique equipment as compared to the United States. This causes data miscommunication or a failure to interface with assorted targeting systems in a joint environment. The 207th accepted the mission to correct these deficits but had to borrow specialized Soldiers from the 206th and 208th to assist.

Military units lend personnel to other elements in need so objectives are accomplished. However, the 208th falls under another Theater Engineer Command - the 416th - adding a layer of difficulty. According to Capt. Rebecca Parillo, 206th DLD Air Defense Missile Team Chief, DLDs and the JWA mission require specialized Soldiers trained in particular system arrays – just any Soldiers would not do.

Parillo explained that certain members of her unit as well as the 208th joined the 207th at the Joint Warfighter Assessment (JWA) of Canada because of staffing issues.

“They were missing several positions, such as an Air Defense Officer and several Air Defense Sergeants,” she said. “They borrowed from us in order to accomplish this mission.”

The JWA goal required certain individuals whose specialty centered on the targeting systems and how weapons would react to the data the devices provided. Any miscalculation could have detrimental effects to friendlies and civilians.

“Our mission was to be able to provide an assessment on the status of interoperability between US and its allies for fighting as a joint coalition force,” said Parillo. “One computer system has to be able to interface with the other computer systems so we all have a common operating sight picture and all can pass readable information up the chain quickly.”

Col. Kimberly Hamilton, 207th Commander, expanded on the mission and its specific aims, stating that these evolved after the units arrived at Fort Carson.

“(We) were asked to also provide additional U.S. communication support to Canada to include common operating picture and two liaison officers in Val Cartier, Quebec Canada,” she said. “Also, upon arrival another one of our allies requested intelligence, fires, and common operating picture support.”

These add-on tasks further stressed the mission’s numbers, yet the combined efforts of the three DLDs came to a successful end where all involved benefited.

Sgt. Shawn Roberts, 208th Air Missile Defense Battle Systems Operator for JWA, worked with the 206th in a prior exercise and stated that he learned a lot from its Soldiers. He was pleasantly surprised to see them again at JWA.

“When my unit asked for volunteers to go to the June exercise to work with another DLD (the 207th), I jumped at it before I was aware that the 206th will be assisting,” said Roberts. “It was both a knowledgeable and enjoyable experience to work with both of the other DLDs in the exercise.”

As the operation ended, the detachments expressed desire to work with each other in the future with better planning considerations to aid their labors.

“The 206th and 208th DLD’s support to JWA was outstanding,” said Hamilton. “Both units’ flexibility and willingness inspired true teamwork amongst all three DLDs. It isn't very often multiple DLDs work together in an exercise; however, we took advantage of this opportunity.”

Parillo stated that everyone integrated seamlessly in knowledge and esprit de corps while Hamilton used the collaboration as a means to solidify future operations.

“This level of planning is very detailed,” said Hamilton. “We conducted a key leader engagement to discuss and compare DLD issues and concerns with doctrine, personnel, equipment, battle assembly training, and annual training opportunities with Unified Action Partners.”

The meeting led to shared understanding and improved practices in interoperability.

With a systems integration mission accomplished and a collective way forward, the DLDs know each can count on the other to support any personnel shortages with trained Soldiers.