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AFSOUTH prepares for Angel Thunder '14

DAVIS-MONTHAN AFB, Ariz -- (This is part 1 of a 4 part series)

DAVIS-MONTHAN AFB, Ariz. - Members from 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) and partner nations from around the world are preparing for the Angel Thunder 2014, a joint service, multinational, interagency combat search and rescue exercise designed to provide training for personnel recovery assets using a variety of scenarios to simulate deployment conditions and contingencies.

Angel Thunder began in 2006 and is the world's largest personnel recovery exercise, supporting the DoD.

Last year's Angel Thunder exercise was a joint collaboration with Air Force Special Operation Command's Emerald Warrior, the U.S. Navy 3rd Fleet's Joint Warfighting Center Training and Exercise, and the U.S. Army and Air Force Reserve's Global Medic exercises. Over 3,000 joint, total force, coalition and interagency partners were trained and 109 aircraft participated logging more than 1,700 flight hours.

This year over 200 planners from around the world have already met in preparation for this year's Angel Thunder exercise scheduled for May 4 to 17.

Over a three-day planning conference held by the Angel Thunder Professional Control Force, under Headquarters Air Combat Command Exercises Division, planners from Sweden, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Great Britain, Canada, and Colombia joined U.S. planners from the Air Force, Army, Marines, Navy, Arizona National Guard, Joint Personnel Recovery Agency, the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development, Drug Enforcement Agency, Homeland Security Investigations, Pima County Emergency Management, Pima County Sheriff, Pinal County Sheriff, Coconino County Sheriff and the Arizona Department of Public Safety discussed all aspects of the exercise from billeting to range coordination.

Angle Thunder will be conducted over three southwestern states.

The Angel Thunder 2014 exercise will be held in Arizona and extend off the coast of California. By holding the Angel Thunder over a large area, exercise planers can plan for a variety in training scenarios. Some of the various exercises that are planned include security cooperation, interagency operations, and Title 22 Chief of Mission environment operations.

Plans for this year's Angel Thunder Exercise will train more than 2,000 joint, total force, coalition and interagency partners through a full spectrum of personnel recovery capabilities with ground recovery personnel, air assets, Special Forces teams and federal agents.

(Editor's Note: Maj. Sarah Schwennesen from Angel Thunder Public Affairs contributed to this story)

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