AMLOs sharpen their tactical edge with IZLID

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Luther Mitchell Jr.
  • 621st Contingency Response Wing Public Affairs

The 621st Mobility Support Operations Squadron is adding another weapon to an already stocked arsenal to enhance situational awareness and tactical edge for its air mobility liaison officers.

The Infrared Zoom Laser Illuminator Designator will replace the dated signal light gun currently used by AMLOs to signal and direct aircraft.

“AMLOs use this equipment in a tactical environment, designating the landing zone for inbound aircraft,” said Maj. Stephen Quinn, 621st MSOS AMLO. “The IR beam is covert, but highly visible for the night vision goggle-wearing aircrew, and allows the AMLO to easily guide the aircraft to the threshold.”

The IZLID is a compact, lightweight infrared laser used for pointing and marking by military forces. The laser is a powerful long-range illuminator, small enough to fit in the user’s pocket and sufficient enough to direct airstrikes.

The new laser is “covert and portable compared to the old light guns,” said Quinn, and more effective in a tactical environment.

“The most important aspect is enhanced situational awareness for aircrew at the push of a button,” Quinn said. “Landing zone approach lights vary in effectiveness, but a quick lase with the IZLID can prevent a crew from selecting the wrong aimpoint.”

The expectation is to utilize the IZLID for all future landing zone operations in-theater. The squadron is planning on purchasing five IZLIDs for deployment use and in garrison training.

“It’s awesome and worth the price,” Quinn said. “AMLOs are basically Jedis already, and this gives us a lightsaber to help with the job.”

A win for AMLOs is a win for the whole squadron. 

“Every day, week, month, and year we get closer and closer to what is needed for MSOS and AMLO Nation equipment-wise,” said Staff Sgt. Sededrick Parks, 621st MSOS supply and equipment manager. “I believe this equipment has catapulted us further in that direction.”