Air Force

May 16, 2013

Army Reserve aviation unit participates in Angel Thunder

Maj. Sarah Schwennesen
12th Air Force (AIR FORCES SOUTHERN) Public Affairs

An unlikely aviation partner in the Air Combat Command-sponsored Exercise Angel Thunder was the 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment from the U.S. Army Reserve.

Units from California, Texas, Kansas, Colorado and Kentucky converged at here to form an Aviation Battalion Task Force with five CH-47D Chinooks, eight UH-60L Black Hawks, three HH-60M MEDEVAC Black Hawks, nine AH-64D Apaches, as well as several heavy vehicles, organic operations tents and equipment, a containerized mobile field feeding kitchen and the M984A4 Wrecker, a heavy expanded mobility tactical truck.

The two weeks of Angel Thunder fulfilled 7-158’s annual training requirements and provided essential joint training for both the Air Force and Army aviation professionals. The level of engagement that Army Aviation had in Angel Thunder served as a reminder that the Army aviation support is critical to the success of any combat or contingency operation, at home or abroad.

“Participating in Angel Thunder provided the commander, the task force battle staff, and subordinate company commanders the unique opportunity to work directly with top tier joint, interagency and coalition forces in a very demanding operational environment within a complex and realistic mission set,” said Lt. Col. James Fitzgerald, 7-158 Commander. “We were able to integrate our task force actions with other units and organizations as part of an operational approach to achieve the exercise’s strategic objectives. End result: we achieved unified action in personnel recovery operations.”

In addition to the Battalion’s standing mission, 7-158 has been supporting a real-world stateside Defense Support of Civil Authorities mission since 2011, known as Defense Chemical, Biological, Radioactive, Nuclear, and Explosive Response Force. Operation Resolute Angel offered the most realistic DSCA training this battalion has participated in to date.

Participating in his first Angel Thunder, Maj. Clinton Williams, 7-158 Battalion operations officer said, “Angel Thunder offered us the opportunity to get battalion-level collective training tasks within an exercise construct. This is the capstone of a four-year training cycle to achieve proficiency in our six collective mission essential tasks: battalion-level mission command, air assaults, air movement, aerial evacuation, sustainment operations and force protection.”

Though the Army participated in an Air Force-led exercise, the soldiers kept Army traditions alive by roughing it and living in the Desert Lightning City here, in full deployment mode. Many soldiers commented about how well the exercise planners captured the feel of Afghanistan, given the landscape and weather environment during Angel Thunder.

“Actually this is more like the way a normal deployed environment is, despite it being an exercise. It’s been good training,” said Specialist Shawn Keepers, a UH-60 Black Hawk mechanic with A Company 2-238 from Los Alomitos, Calif.

The Army flew missions with international and interagency players, Marines, Army Special Forces, Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets and Air Force exercise participants aboard, seamlessly integrating themselves into all aviation aspects of Angel Thunder 13.

“They fully participated in all events and were critical to the success of the operation. We could not have done the exercise as planned without them,” said Brett Hartnett, Angel Thunder exercise director and technical manager.

In all, 3,017 joint, total force, coalition and interagency partners were trained and 109 aircraft participated in Angel Thunder 13. Exercise participants logged more than 1,749 flight hours in 30 exercise scenarios in which approximately 295 people were saved.

Despite the massive size of the exercise, the planners ensured that the budget was as efficient as possible, staying within $1.75 million, said Hartnett.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

SNCOs: Contact AFPC to see if Course 14 completion is noted in records

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) — Senior NCOs recently notified by the Air University Barnes Center for Enlisted Education that their Senior NCO Academy Distance Learning Course 14 Version 6 “failed” exam scores have been corrected may want to review their records to ensure updates are complete. In late 2013, Air Education and Training...
 
 

Draft Supplemental EA open for public review and comment

The 355th Fighter Wing released the 563rd Rescue Group Personnel Recovery Supplemental Environmental Assessment today for public review and comment. A 30-day comment period follows the release of the document. The comment period will end Monday, May 4, 2015. The draft Supplemental Environmental Assessment (SEA) and draft Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) evaluates the...
 
 

Anything you can do I can do better

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — Sibling rivalry has always challenged people to do things better, like run faster or jump higher. Two brothers have taken that competition to new heights to make the Air Force greater. “We have always competed to find out who was the best,” said Senior Airman Leonel DeJesus-Martinez, 57th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron...
 

 
AAFES_pict

Exchange rewards academic excellence with “You Made the Grade Program”

DALLAS — The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is rewarding military students who excel in the classroom with its You Made the Grade program, now in its 15th year. Students in first through 12th grades who maintain a B av...
 
 

$25K available in AF Club Scholarship Program

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas (AFNS) — The 2015 Air Force Club Scholarship Program is accepting applications through midnight CDT, May 1. Now in its 17th year, the program has provided almost $400,000 in college tuition assistance to more than 400 Air Force Club members and their families. This year, the program will award 40...
 
 
(Graphic courtesy of MilitaryPay.gov)

Eligible Airmen may choose retirement plan at 14 1/2-year mark

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) — The Air Force Personnel Center has developed an automatic notification process that sends a message directly to active-duty Air Force and headquarters Active Guard Reserve m...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin