CAMP LEMONIER, Djibouti -- Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa recently added an Air Defense Integrated System (ADSI) to its arsenal, enhancing their ability to fight terrorism in the east African region.
The ADSI tracks airplanes and ships occupying the Horn of Africa region, which is defined as Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan, Eritrea, Yemen, the Gulf of Aden, Red Sea and coastal waters of the Indian Ocean.
Air Force Master Sgt. Paul Shelton, joint integrated control officer, explains the ADSI depicts civilian/military planes and ships in near-real-time feeds to a computer screen 24 hours, seven days a week as they move through CJTF-HOA's area of responsibility.
The system utilizes coalition force's ships, planes and land-based radar throughout the region. The ADSI inputs all of these images then combines them with a central image showing all traffic in the region.
The ability to see airborne and surface threats, Shelton adds, gives the area commander the capacity to make up-to-date decisions about the situation, thus choosing an appropriate response.
If the system shows a vessel attempting to illegally enter or run a blockade, Shelton explains, the system serves as a proactive warning - the ADSI knows before the act. The result; the commander could send coalition forces to intercept the foreign ship.
The system also has the means of monitoring deployed units, as well as gathering other valuable information such as the speed, the model and direction of a moving vehicle.
There are two variants of the ADSI here, a stationary one and a mobile system, which is self-contained in a High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicle.
"It takes us no time at all to set up the buggy (mobile system)," he said, "We are online within 40 minutes."
According to Shelton, the advantage of the mobile system is the quickness in which it can be activated compared to the stationary one, which takes approximately 48 hours to setup and activate. The mobile system is also capable of operating from any given location in the region to monitor aircraft and ship traffic vice being restricted to one location.
The ADSI is one of the many means CJTF-HOA utilizes to detect, deter and defeat transnational terrorist groups operating in the Horn of Africa region.