DAVIS-MONTHAN AFB, Ariz. --- Airmen from the 355th Wing strengthened the Dynamic Wing concept by traveling to Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, for training from Aug. 20-22.
The ability to execute the mission in a potentially contested and austere environment is critical in the ever-changing climate of war. The 355th Wing is focusing on developing dynamic forward adaptive basing and agile combat employment concepts through the ability and training of its Airmen to be ready and multi-functional.
“Our training involved not only the 354th Fighter Squadron and 355th Maintenance Group, but we also tied in the 34th Combat Training Squadron and 39th Airlift Squadron,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Joel Russo, 354th FS A-10 Thunderbolt II pilot. “We set up spoke operations and operated as if we were actually in that situation by only using the equipment that was available to us.”
The 39th AS from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, provided airlift support via a C-130J Super Hercules that transported personnel and equipment from Davis-Monthan out to Little Rock. This support was critical as it practiced interoperability between major commands supporting each other’s mission, as well as ensuring that the mission objectives of the trip could be executed.
“The mission was essentially to see our abilities in working from a remote location with minimal equipment and personnel,” said Tech. Sgt. Mark Smith, 355th Equipment Maintenance Squadron Munitions Flight troop. “We built and loaded GBU-12s, a 500 pound bomb, as a proof of concept. We proved that we can take this munition off of an aircraft safely, get them built up and reload the aircraft as they come down. We need to know our capabilities and limiting factors so even if these aircraft are coming down from a remote location, we can get them reloaded and back into the fight.”
Training Airmen to be ready to execute the mission in different situations and settings is extremely important for overall readiness. The Airmen involved in the training performed a variety of missions including munitions building and forward air refueling points in different locations to include LRAFB and Alexandria, Louisiana.
“Hopefully by doing these trips in a training environment, we will be able to create solutions that units and commanders Air Force wide can take, adapt and apply to quickly deploy forces,” said Russo. “This will extend our combat reach, as well as increase access and presence in a variety of combat areas that were previously considered unreachable to become more effective and lethal in a future war environment.”
This continued proof of concept training exercise further advanced the capabilities of the 355th Dynamic Wing as it aligns with the National Defense Strategy and Department of Defense senior leadership. This was achieved by integrating other units while also improving the wing’s own tactics, techniques and procedures as it continues to lead the Air Force in high-end readiness for any potential threat or adversary that may arise.