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Joint forces simulate airfield seizure

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Peter Thompson
  • Airman 1st Class Peter Thompson
Dyess B-1Bs and C-130Js made their presence known April 25, 2013, over Winston Field Airport in Snyder, Texas, as part of a joint force integration exercise coordinated by the 77th Weapons Squadron here.

The first-of-its-kind exercise combined Dyess B-1s and C-130s, Joint Terminal Attack Controllers from Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., and F/A-18 Hornets from Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, Texas, working together to clear and take an enemy-controlled airfield.

Aircraft were targeted by simulated tracking radar, anti-aircraft artillery and surface-to-air missiles from the Snyder Electronic Scoring Site, adding to the realism of the scenario.

After B-1s from the 9th Bomb Squadron and 77th Weapons Squadron destroyed known anti-aircraft artillery in the area, simulated C-17 Globemasters dropped heavy machinery and pallets of equipment for incoming troops.

"We are trying to mirror the way we train to the way we would actually fight a war," said Maj. Timothy Griffith, 77th Weapons Squadron. "B-1s and C-130s will never go to war alone, so we are trying to match capabilities of different assets to make it as realistic as possible."

Moments after equipment was on the ground, a 12-ship formation of C-130s from Dyess flew overhead, simulating a drop of 720 Army Rangers and Air Force JTACs.

"We are learning how the different aircraft operate and can work together," said Capt. J Meinhard, 9th Bomb Squadron. "It is important for us to know each other's capabilities so we can support one another's missions."

From the ground, JTACs communicated with B-1s to eliminate remaining threats on the ground, allowing the ranger regiment to sweep and claim the airfield.

"Our job is to control air strikes and put bombs on target to kill bad guys," said Tech. Sgt. Jason Meek, 66th Weapons Squadron. "I have the best job in the Air Force. I get to keep my brothers and sisters safe and out of harms way, bringing strength and honor to our community."

F/A-18 Hornets arrived to aid in close air support, relieving the bombers.

The intent of the mission was to establish and maintain air superiority, eliminate simulated surface-to-air threats, successfully airdrop a ranger regiment onto the airfield, establish communications with ground force commanders and eliminate enemy ground forces.

"This training is critical for the future of the Air Force because in the future, when we are serving alongside other branches and countries, we will know each others capabilities and we can work better together," Meinhard said.