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International training with fighter pilots starts Thursday at Atterbury
Updated on: 09.07.11

Fighter pilots often have seconds to decide whether to open fire, and this month they will train at Camp Atterbury to know how to make that choice.
 
The post, in southern Johnson County and northeastern Brown County, is hosting a major NATO training exercise involving pilots and soldiers from Germany, Finland, France and 11 other countries. The allies will train on how to avoid shooting at troops who are on their side and use high-tech sensors that allow them to distinguish friend from foe, Navy Capt. Kent Davis said.
 
Residents who live nearby should expect to hear the roar of fighter jets and the whir of helicopters both day and night when the training exercise starts Thursday, Maj. Lisa Kopczynski said. More aircraft than normal will fly over Camp Atterbury through Sept. 25.
 
Pilots will practice using radar that warns them not to bomb or shoot at troops from other countries who are assisting in combat or on peacekeeping missions, Davis said. The goal is to prevent friendly fire deaths, such as when an American fighter pilot killed four Canadian soldiers in 2002 by dropping a bomb on them during the Afghanistan war.
 
The Pentagon has been staging international training exercises for the past decade to train pilots, artillery crews and ground troops on how to identify allies before pulling the trigger.
 
In past years, the Bold Quest exercise has taken place in Norway, the United Kingdom and several different posts in the United States.
 
Camp Atterbury is the first National Guard post to host Bold Quest, Davis said.
 
The Pentagon decided to conduct the event at Camp Atterbury this year partly because it has its own restricted airspace, Brig. Gen. Omer “Clif” Tooley said. The post near Edinburgh increasingly is a hub for large-scale training and the testing of cutting-edge military hardware.
 
About 500 soldiers from Australia, Belgium and other countries will train at Camp Atterbury and the Muscatatuck Urban Training Complex in Jennings County during the next few weeks.
 
Transporting, feeding and equipping the troops for the war-games exercise is expected to cost at least $5 million. They’ll stay at Camp Atterbury, where they’ll also fly overhead.
 
Fighter pilots will respond to simulated requests for air support from coalition troops who come under fire while providing humanitarian assistance.
 
The pilots have to be careful about returning fire in a populated area and will use a computer system to determine if there are any friendly forces near the target. The technology lets them quickly identify where coalition troops are and if it’s safe to fire, Davis said.

They’ll familiarize themselves with different types of technology, including radar, infrared and radio systems, which show them what side the soldiers on the ground are on. For instance, pilots will train with radios that automatically send challenge and password signals to each other.
 
Ground troops and pilots don’t have to actually talk to each other on the radio. Instead, the pilot’s radio will instantly determine if the troops are on the same radio system by seeing if it uses the same set of encrypted frequencies.
 
“A pilot could only have seconds to determine whether to engage a target,” Davis said. “There’s little margin for error, so you need instantaneous information about the battlefield conditions.”
 
Pilots also will use infrared scanners that recognize markings on vehicles or uniforms of their allies, warning them when to hold fire.

The technology that works best at Camp Atterbury will be shared by NATO counties during ongoing and future missions overseas. All allies need to use the same devices to recognize each other on the battlefield to avoid any friendly fire deaths, Davis said.
 
“Warfare is a fallible process,” he said. “Unfortunately, tragedies happen, and that’s why we’re refining our processes for target identification and developing new processes.”

-- Joseph S. Pete, Daily Journal (Franklin)

ABOUT THE TRAINING

Camp Atterbury will host an international training exercise involving fighter pilots this month.
What: The Bold Quest exercise trains international allies on how to avoid friendly fire accidents, such as by testing technologies that identify friendly forces.
When: Thursday through Sept. 25
What to expect: Aircraft will fly over the post both day and night during the exercise.
Participating countries: United States, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Poland and the United Kingdom

Obituaries
See Full List »

David E. Stillabower, 66, Nashville
  Companion of Mary McGahey of Nashville

Marion 'Gayle' Wilkerson, 81, Trafalgar
  

Helen Louise (Fenicle) Richards, 90, Nashville
  Mother of Shawnee B. (Michael) Muirhead of Brown County, and Staci (Kevin) Harden of Nashville

  • April 16
    Live music at Hobnob restaurant
    6 to 8 p.m. Hobnob, 17 W. Main St.
  • April 16
    BCHS baseball on Wednesday
    5 p.m., 6 p.m. Brown County High School, Jennings County
  • April 16
    Brown County Commissioners
    6 p.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • April 16
    Lake Lemon Conservancy District Board
    6 p.m. Benton Township Building, 7606 State Road 45, Unionville
  • April 16
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    6 p.m. Harmony Baptist Church, 3999 Mt. Liberty Road, New Bellesville
  • April 17
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    6:30 p.m. Country Gospel Music Church, 5181 State Road 46 East, Gnaw Bone
  • April 17
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    5 to 6:30 p.m. Out of the Ordinary, 61 S. Van Buren St.
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    6:30 p.m. Town Hall, 200 Commercial St.
  • April 17
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    4:30 p.m., 5 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 7 p.m.
  • April 17
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    3:30 to 5 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
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    1:40 p.m., 2 p.m. IGA parking lot
  • April 17
    Brown County Schools Board of Trustees
    6 p.m. Brown County High School, 234 Schoolhouse Lane
  • April 17
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    7:30 p.m. CSVFD fire station, 101 Firehouse Road, Nineveh
  • April 17
    Novel Bunch book club
    2 to 3:30 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • April 17
    'Noah' movie at the Playhouse
    4 p.m., 7 p.m. Brown County Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren
  • April 17
    "The Passion of the Christ" movie at church in New Bellsville
    6 p.m. Harmony Baptist Church, 3999 Mt. Liberty Road, New Bellesville
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    4 p.m. BCC Corrections office, 902 Deer Run Lane, Suite B.
  • April 18
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    6 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
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  • April 18
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    7 to 9 p.m. Salt Creek Golf Retreat, 2359 State Road 46 East
  • April 18
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    5 to 8 p.m. T.C. Steele Road, Belmont
  • April 18
    'Noah' movie at the Playhouse
    4 p.m., 7 p.m. Brown County Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren
  • April 18
    Live music at winery
    7 to 10 p.m. Chateau Thomas Winery, 225 S. Van Buren St.
  • April 18
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    7:30 p.m. Harmony Baptist Church, 3999 Mt. Liberty Road, New Bellesville
  • April 19
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Abe Martin Lodge, Brown County State Park
  • April 19
    Euchre
    6 p.m. 746 Memorial Drive at the fairgrounds
  • April 19
    Live music at sports bar
    7 to 9:30 p.m. Salt Creek Golf Retreat, 2359 State Road 46 East
  • April 19
    'Noah' movie at the Playhouse
    4 p.m., 7 p.m. Brown County Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren
  • April 19
    Late night dancing at Out of the Ordinary
    9 p.m. Out of the Ordinary, 61 S. Van Buren St.
  • April 19
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    3 p.m., 6 p.m. Brown County Intermediate School, 260 Schoolhouse Lane
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    2 to 4 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • April 19
    Live band at dance barn
    6 p.m., 7 p.m. Mike's Dance Barn, 2277 State Road 46 West
  • April 19
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    9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m.
  • April 19
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    9 a.m. 4100 Yellowwood Road, off State Road 46 West
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    1 p.m. Deer Run Park
  • April 20
    'Noah' movie at the Playhouse
    4 p.m., 7 p.m. Brown County Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren
  • April 20
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    7 a.m., 8 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m.
  • April 21
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    6 p.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • April 21
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    5:15 p.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • April 21
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    6 p.m., 7 p.m. Brown County High School, 234 School House Lane
  • April 21
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    5 p.m., 5:30 p.m. Brown County High School, Brownstown Central
  • April 22
    Euchre
    6 p.m. 746 Memorial Drive at the fairgrounds
  • April 22
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    6 p.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • April 22
    BCHS sports for Tuesday
    5 p.m., 6 p.m. Brown County High School, Indiana Creek
  • April 23
    Board of Zoning Appeals
    6 p.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • April 23
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    5 p.m. Brown County High School, Providence Jr./Sr. HS
  • April 23
    Live music at Hobnob restaurant
    6 to 8 p.m. Hobnob, 17 W. Main St.
  • April 23
    BC Parks & Rec. Board
    5:15 p.m. BC Parks & Rec. Office, 1001 Deer Run Lane
  • April 24
    Gospel jam session
    6:30 p.m. Country Gospel Music Church, 5181 State Road 46 East, Gnaw Bone
  • April 24
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    4:30 p.m., 5 p.m., 6:30 p.m. Brown County High School
  • April 25
    Live music at sports bar
    7 to 9 p.m. Salt Creek Golf Retreat, 2359 State Road 46 East
  • April 25
    Bingo
    6 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • April 25
    Friends of the library plant sale
    3 to 6 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • April 25
    Game night at dance barn
    6 to 10 p.m. Mike's Dance Barn, 2277 State Road 46 West
  • April 25
    Live music at Out of the Ordinary
    7:30 p.m. to midnight Out of the Ordinary, 61 S. Van Buren St.
  • April 25
    Dave Miller at winery
    7 to 10 p.m. Chateau Thomas Winery, 225 S. Van Buren St.
  • April 26
    Euchre
    6 p.m. 746 Memorial Drive, (fairgrounds)
  • April 26
    Live band at dance barn
    6 p.m., 8 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Mike's Dance Barn, 2277 State Road 46 West
  • April 26
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    7:30 p.m., 8 p.m. to midnight Out of the Ordinary, 61 S. Van Buren St.
  • April 26
    Friends of the library plant sale
    9 a.m. to noon Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • April 26
    Plant sale at BCSP Nature Center
    9 a.m. until sold out Brown County State Park Nature Center
  • April 26
    Harpeth Rising band at The Playhouse
    7:30 p.m. Brown County Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren
  • April 26
    Hope for Hearts Farm free women's extravaganza
    9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Hope For Hearts Farm, 1005 State Road 45, Bean Blossom
  • April 26
    Live music at winery
    7 to 10 p.m. Chateau Thomas Winery, 225 S. Van Buren St.
  • April 26
    Live music at winery
    7 to 10 p.m. Chateau Thomas Winery, 225 S. Van Buren St.
  • April 27
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    1-4 p.m. Three Story Hill at State Road 135 N., Fruitdale
  • April 29
    Euchre
    6 p.m. 746 Memorial Drive, (fairgrounds)
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    6:30 p.m. Country Gospel Music Church, 5181 State Road 46 East, Gnaw Bone
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    3 p.m., 6 p.m. Helmsburg Elementary, 5378 Helmsburg Road
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    6 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • May 2
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    6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Salt Creek Golf Retreat, 2359 State Road 46 East
  • May 3
    Euchre
    6 p.m. 746 Memorial Drive, (fairgrounds)
  • May 3
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    8 to 11 p.m. Salt Creek Golf Retreat, 2359 State Road 46 East
  • May 4
    Brown County Railroad gallery
    1 to 4 p.m. 18 W. Three Story Hill (at State Road 135 N.) Fruitdale
  • May 9
    Bingo
    6 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
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    10 a.m. to 5 p.m. House of Thunder, 4413 State Road 46 East, Gnaw Bone
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    8 to 10 a.m. Sprunica Baptist Church, 3902 Sprunica Road
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    1 to 4 p.m. 18 W. Three Story Hill (at State Road 135 N.) Fruitdale
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