HACE responds to real-world mishap

Airmen from the Hammer Adaptive Communications Element (HACE), 51st Combat Communications Squadron, 5th Combat Communications Group, Warner-Robins AFB, Ga., assist recovery and investigation teams after a U-2 Dragon Lady crashed near Sacramento, Cali. Sept 20th. HACE is a special purpose communications package, that provides emergency initial C4 capabilities for incident response and consequence management. Incidents supported by HACE, when warranted, can include anything from chemical, biological, and nuclear events to downed aircraft, humanitarian and disaster relief (courtesy photo).

Airmen from the Hammer Adaptive Communications Element (HACE), 51st Combat Communications Squadron, 5th Combat Communications Group, Warner-Robins AFB, Ga., assist recovery and investigation teams after a U-2 Dragon Lady crashed near Sacramento, Cali. Sept 20th. HACE is a special purpose communications package, that provides emergency initial C4 capabilities for incident response and consequence management. Incidents supported by HACE, when warranted, can include anything from chemical, biological, and nuclear events to downed aircraft, humanitarian and disaster relief (courtesy photo).

Staff Sgt. Chris Keller, from the Hammer Adaptive Communications Element (HACE), 51st Combat Communications Squadron, 5th Combat Communications Group, Warner-Robins AFB, Ga., assist recovery and investigation teams after a U-2 Dragon Lady crashed near Sacramento, Cali. Sept 20th. HACE is a special purpose communications package, that provides emergency initial C4 capabilities for incident response and consequence management. Incidents supported by HACE, when warranted, can include anything from chemical, biological, and nuclear events to downed aircraft, humanitarian and disaster relief (courtesy photo).

Staff Sgt. Chris Keller, from the Hammer Adaptive Communications Element (HACE), 51st Combat Communications Squadron, 5th Combat Communications Group, Warner-Robins AFB, Ga., assist recovery and investigation teams after a U-2 Dragon Lady crashed near Sacramento, Cali. Sept 20th. HACE is a special purpose communications package, that provides emergency initial C4 capabilities for incident response and consequence management. Incidents supported by HACE, when warranted, can include anything from chemical, biological, and nuclear events to downed aircraft, humanitarian and disaster relief (courtesy photo).

Staff Sgts Chris Keller and Michael Lindsey, from the Hammer Adaptive Communications Element (HACE), 51st Combat Communications Squadron, 5th Combat Communications Group, Warner-Robins AFB, Ga., assist recovery and investigation teams after a U-2 Dragon Lady crashed near Sacramento, Cali. Sept 20th. HACE is a special purpose communications package, that provides emergency initial C4 capabilities for incident response and consequence management. Incidents supported by HACE, when warranted, can include anything from chemical, biological, and nuclear events to downed aircraft, humanitarian and disaster relief (courtesy photo).

Staff Sgts Chris Keller and Michael Lindsey, from the Hammer Adaptive Communications Element (HACE), 51st Combat Communications Squadron, 5th Combat Communications Group, Warner-Robins AFB, Ga., assist recovery and investigation teams after a U-2 Dragon Lady crashed near Sacramento, Cali. Sept 20th. HACE is a special purpose communications package, that provides emergency initial C4 capabilities for incident response and consequence management. Incidents supported by HACE, when warranted, can include anything from chemical, biological, and nuclear events to downed aircraft, humanitarian and disaster relief (courtesy photo).

SSgt Michael Lindsey, from the Hammer Adaptive Communications Element (HACE), 51st Combat Communications Squadron, 5th Combat Communications Group, Warner-Robins AFB, Ga., assist recovery and investigation teams after a U-2 Dragon Lady crashed near Sacramento, Cali. Sept 20th. HACE is a special purpose communications package, that provides emergency initial C4 capabilities for incident response and consequence management. Incidents supported by HACE, when warranted, can include anything from chemical, biological, and nuclear events to downed aircraft, humanitarian and disaster relief (courtesy photo).

SSgt Michael Lindsey, from the Hammer Adaptive Communications Element (HACE), 51st Combat Communications Squadron, 5th Combat Communications Group, Warner-Robins AFB, Ga., assist recovery and investigation teams after a U-2 Dragon Lady crashed near Sacramento, Cali. Sept 20th. HACE is a special purpose communications package, that provides emergency initial C4 capabilities for incident response and consequence management. Incidents supported by HACE, when warranted, can include anything from chemical, biological, and nuclear events to downed aircraft, humanitarian and disaster relief (courtesy photo).

Airmen from the Hammer Adaptive Communications Element (HACE), 51st Combat Communications Squadron, 5th Combat Communications Group, Warner-Robins AFB, Ga., assist recovery and investigation teams after a U-2 Dragon Lady crashed near Sacramento, Cali. Sept 20th. HACE is a special purpose communications package, that provides emergency initial C4 capabilities for incident response and consequence management. Incidents supported by HACE, when warranted, can include anything from chemical, biological, and nuclear events to downed aircraft, humanitarian and disaster relief (courtesy photo).

Airmen from the Hammer Adaptive Communications Element (HACE), 51st Combat Communications Squadron, 5th Combat Communications Group, Warner-Robins AFB, Ga., assist recovery and investigation teams after a U-2 Dragon Lady crashed near Sacramento, Cali. Sept 20th. HACE is a special purpose communications package, that provides emergency initial C4 capabilities for incident response and consequence management. Incidents supported by HACE, when warranted, can include anything from chemical, biological, and nuclear events to downed aircraft, humanitarian and disaster relief (courtesy photo).

JBSA-Lackland --

On Sept. 20th a U-2 Dragon Lady, assigned to Beale Air Force Base, crashed near Sacramento, California, killing one pilot and injuring another.
 
When Air Force incidents like this occur, recovery teams arrive, the safety investigation board begins, and several things are immediately put into motion. One of the first requirements is providing the communications capabilities necessary on scene.

This is where the Hammer Adaptive Communications Element (HACE) from the 51st Combat Communications Squadron, 5th Combat Communication Group, Warner Robins AFB, Georgia. comes in. 

HACE is a special purpose communications package, or Unit Type Code (equipment, personnel, and mission capabilities), that provides emergency initial Command, Control, Communications, and Computers (C4 capabilities) for incident response and consequence management. Incidents supported by HACE, when warranted, can include anything from chemical, biological, and nuclear events to downed aircraft, humanitarian and disaster relief. 

HACE was notified and tasked just hours after the downed aircraft incident to assist at the crash site. On Sept. 21st, within 15 hours of initial notification, the team of three Airman departed from Georgia, headed to California; and within just a few hours after landing, they were on scene. 

Immediately, HACE set up vehicles for mobile data, voice systems, satellite communications and network capability to ensure incident responders had the necessary tools to respond, recover, and investigate. 

Within 12 hours of arrival on scene, HACE received required briefings, completed all necessary set-up, and tested and ops checked all lines to ensure every program required was available (voice, email, encrypted and un-encrypted, maps, etc.).

Three days since the crash, the team continues to ensure communication abilities remain enabled, and will return to Georgia once the requirements are no longer needed.