Green Flag-West prepares 9th Bomb Squadron, 7th MXG maintainers for future deployments
By Airman 1st Class Kylsee Wisseman, 7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
/ Published May 13, 2014
DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Airmen from the 9th Bomb Squadron and 7th Maintenance Group prepared for future deployments by participating in a Green Flag-West exercise from April 18 to May 2 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.
Green Flag is a realistic air-land integration combat training exercise that involves U.S. and allied air forces. The exercise replicates irregular warfare conditions currently found in overseas contingency operations and trains joint and coalition warfighters to operate in future contested and degraded air-land environments. Aircraft and crews participating in this exercise fly from Nellis in support of ground-combat training at Fort Irwin, Calif.
"Green Flag deployments present a phenomenal training opportunity not only for the squadron's aviators and support personnel, but for the 7th Bomb Wing's B-1B Lancer maintainers," said Maj. Erick Lord, 9th Bomb Squadron assistant director of operations. "During Green Flag it is important for the maintainers to do their job correctly, so as pilots we can complete the mission efficiently and effectively without worrying about our aircraft breaking during flight."
During the exercise, Lord's job consisted of in-flight instruction and evaluation of the squadron's newest aviators.
"During Green Flag my role allowed me to tie the lessons I have learned in three previous combat deployments to the skills that were being developed during the exercise," Lord said.
One of the benefits of the exercise is that it allows maintainers to learn how the different systems on the B-1 work together.
"Green Flag gives us maintainers a more controlled setting to be able to learn more about our airframe," said Tech. Sgt. Steven Lazarowitz, 7th MXG hydraulic specialist craftsman. "Our goal is to supply the aircrew with the best weapons platform we can give them. We need to get them in the air, so they can complete their mission."
During the exercise, Airmen normally assigned under the 7th MXG were realigned as the 9th Aircraft Maintenance Unit to support the expeditionary exercise.
"The 9th AMU really impressed us, as B-1 operators, by delivering a 100-percent mission effective rate throughout the entirety of the Green Flag exercise," Lord said.
Lord added that having a perfect mission rate was impressive because of the complexity of the exercise.
"Green Flag sorties can be very challenging, as they replicate actual combat stressors and scenarios closely," Lord said. "During this exercise, I am proud to say all of our sorties flew and completed their missions effectively."
Lazarowitz said being perfect on their 42 training missions is important, but what really matters to the maintainers is that the B-1 crew is able to accomplish their job when they get up in the air.
"We strive to meet 100 percent of the sorties, but if the crew's missions were unsuccessful the sorties really don't mean a thing," Lazarowitz said. "Our goal is to supply the aircrew with the best weapons platform that we can give them, and get them in the air so they can complete their mission."
Ultimately, those missions resulted in first-class combat operations training for more than 140 Team Dyess Airmen, Lord said. Which he added was the most important part of participating in Green Flag.
"I am very proud of the Airmen that participated in this exercise, making it possible for us to train and prepare to face the enemy of tomorrow," Lord said.