Task Force ODIN Afghanistan
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The task force consists of four specially-equipped, highly-skilled aviation and intelligence companies and several detachments. These units operate highly sensitive sensor technology and distribute the intelligence products to supported units. The task force mission is to field and operate a family of manned and unmanned aerial platforms, sensors, and communication data links to transmit information to analysts who then turn that information into intelligence that is provided to the operational force and tactical units.
Origin of Task Force ODIN. TF ODIN was first stood up by the US Army in Iraq in July 2007 to counter the IED threat and to have an aviation unit more responsive to the Army's needs and operational requirements. The general consensus among Army unit commanders is the Air Force supports the Army when it fits their concept of operations. 1. The task force was created by General Richard Cody, the US Army Vice Chief of Staff. The task force operated from Camp Speicher, Iraq (near Tikrit). Task Force ODIN Afghanistan was stood up in 2009.
Task Force Thor. The Army assumed the command of some of the air assets of Task Force Odin in October 2014 with the stand up of Task Force Thor.
King Air 300. See WikipediaA's page on the King Air 300. These medium-altitude reconnaissance aircraft have been equipped with similar sensors as the Predator UAVs. These light aircraft are more responsive to the Army's needs and are simple to fly. They are less expensive and easier to procur than the USAF Predators. Read more about the pilots who operate the King Air 300.
Warrior Alpha. The MQ-12 Sky Warrior is produced by General Atomics. This is a multi-mission UAV with features of the larger Predator A, but as a cheaper, less complex I-GNAT package. The platform is commonly called the Warrior Alpha. See also 3.
Constant Hawk. This is a U.S. Army image analysis system. It has proved very successful in finding newly planted IEDs. Constant Hawk uses a special video camera system to observe an area and find patterns of behavior utilizing change detection technology that assists in post-event analysis. The camera is a 96 megapixel. The systems can be mounted on aircraft of fixed ground positions. Similar programs include the Marine Corps "Angel Fire" and the Air Force "Highligher". 2.
RQ-5 Viper Strike. This GBU-44 is a small, precision attack munition with a 4-pound HEAT warhead. It is currently carried by MQ-5B Hunter UAVs and other platforms. See WikipediA's page on the Viper Strike. 4.
Paolo Valpolini. ISR in Afghanistan: SR Easier than I. Armada International 2/2010. pages 46-50. Accessed here on March 19, 2012.
Task Force ODIN. By WikipediA. Accessed here.
Task Force ODIN. Canadian American Strategic Review. Accessed here.
June 15, 2016. "Task Force ODIN welcomes a new commander", DVIDS.
October 15, 2014. "Find, fix and finish: Air Force MC-12W mission transitions to Army". DVIDS. Task Force Odin is replaced by Task Force Thor in Afghanistan.
February 28, 2014. "TF ODIN deploys to OEF". DVIDS.
May 30, 2012. "Rare Video Shows US Spyplane Used to 'Find, Fix, and Finish' Bad Guys". Business Insider. Info and video on the MC-12W Liberty ISR plane.
August 2, 2012. "Military Orders More King Air 350ER Aircraft". Defense Industry Daily.
March 16, 2012. "Task Force ODIN contributes to future Army aviation operations". DVIDS.
October 2, 2011. "Walking Back the Cat: The US Army's Constant Hawk". Defense Industry Daily.
June 19, 2011. "US Military Orders More King Air 350ER Aircraft (MC-12)". Defense Industry Daily.
March 11, 2011. "Task force targets human network behind IEDs". Army.mil.
June 5, 2010. "More on Task Force ODIN's Work on the Af/Pak Border". American at War.
June 2, 2010. "Newest manned spy plane scores points in war effort". USA Today.
October 7, 2009. "L-3 Building Its Private ISR Force: Constant Hawk Afghanistan". Aviation Week.
March 5, 2009. "Army Killer Drone Takes First Shots in Combat". Wired.com Danger Room.
January 15, 2009. "Task Force ODIN: In the Valleys of the Blind ...". Defense Industry Daily.
December 19, 2008. "Afghanistan Attacked by the Math Machine". Strategy Page.
June 22, 2008. "At Odds With Air Force, Army Adds Its Own Aviation Unit". The New York Times.
November 20, 2006. "Constant Hawk aims to thwart improvised explosive devices". GlobalSecurity.org.
1. For the Army's discontent with the Air Force support in Iraq (and Afghanistan) see Counterinsurgency Legacy - US Army Aviation Supports Its own, US Air Force turns out to be too Tardy to be Tactically Useful, Canadian American Strategic Review (CASR), June 22, 2008. Accessed here on March 19, 2012.
2. For more info on the origins of Constant Hawk see Where did Constant Hawk come from?, The Edgefighter, August 27, 2010. Accessed here on March 19, 2012.
3. See more info on the I-GNAT ER/Sky Warrior Alpha on the General Atomics Aeronautical website. Accessed here March 19, 2012.
4. See more info in GBU-44 Viper Strike: Death From Above, Defense Industry Daily, January 17, 2012. Accessed here March 19, 2012.
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