D-M Airmen balance flexibility, survivability, lethality in readiness exercise

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A U.S. Air Force HC-130J Combat King II rests on the flight line while Airmen from the 355th Wing unload cargo during exercise Pegasus Forge Jan. 28, 2019. One of the primary goals during this exercise was to balance flexibility, survivability and lethality to provide options for combatant commanders.

Landing in an austere location, a small number of Airmen move at a rapid pace to accomplish a very specific mission. With only the necessary supplies needed to survive for a week, they begin to unload food, shelter and equipment. After unloading, they set up a campsite as home base for their operations.

During this joint-force readiness exercise, known as Pegasus Forge, the 355th Wing’s dynamic forward adaptive basing team deployed a small number of A-10 Thunderbolt IIs and a team of hybrid Airmen from various squadrons throughout the wing. During this first iteration of Pegasus Forge, the Airmen’s mission was to wield rapid combat power from a position of advantage with minimal footprint.

“We have a handful of Airmen who are all working outside of their normal [air force specialty codes],” said Maj. Gary Glojek, 354th Fighter Squadron A-10 pilot. “Our goal is to balance flexibility, survivability and lethality to provide options for combatant commanders.”

Ready at a moment’s notice, these teams are equipped with cross-functional Airmen and an adequate amount of supplies in order to provide close air support at a forward off ground location.

Pictured above is the campsite for exercise Pegasus Forge Jan 28, 2019. This campsite simulated war-ready environment accomodated approximately 30 Airmen and tons of supplies.

“We need to have the ability to fly effective sorties from a location where we have minimal assets and still be efficient and lethal,” said Staff Sgt. Anmoledeep Sandhu, 354th FS crew chief.

While this exercise tested effectiveness and efficiency, sustaining Davis-Monthan’s ability to demolish their adversaries is no trivial charge. Because this exercise was the first of its kind, it also served as a learning experience for many of the Airmen and their supervisors.

Staff Sgt. Anmoledeep Sandhu, 354th Fighter Squadron crew chief, changes the tire on an A-10 Thunderbolt II during exercise Pegasus Forge Jan. 28, 2019. During Exercise Pegasus Forge, the 355th Wing’s dynamic forward adaptive basing team’s mission was to wield rapid combat power from a position of advantage with minimal footprint.

“We realized there were a few stumbling blocks with equipment and needing spare parts,” said Sandhu. “This didn’t hinder our performance for the mission. We adapted fairly quickly and were able still be effective in completing our tasks.”

With the challenge of effectively executing the mission and balancing flexibility, survivability and lethality, Airmen from the 355th Wing continue to provide excellent service and maintain mission readiness anytime, anyplace.

An Airman loads equipment to be transported to an austere location during exercise Pegasus Forge Jan. 28, 2019. During Exercise Pegasus Forge, the 355th Wing’s dynamic forward adaptive basing team’s mission was to wield rapid combat power from a position of advantage with minimal footprint.

 

A U.S. Air Force pilot prepares for takeoff during exercise Pegasus Forge Jan. 28, 2019. During Exercise Pegasus Forge, the 355th Wing’s dynamic forward adaptive basing team’s mission was to wield rapid combat power from a position of advantage with minimal footprint.

 

Airmen from various squadrons throughout the 355th Wing construct tents during exercise Pegasus Forge Jan. 28, 2019. During Exercise Pegasus Forge, the 355th WG’s dynamic forward adaptive basing team’s mission was to wield rapid combat power from a position of advantage with minimal footprint.

 

Airmen from various squadrons throughout the 355th Wing construct tents during exercise Pegasus Forge Jan. 28, 2019. During Exercise Pegasus Forge, the 355th WG’s dynamic forward adaptive basing team’s mission was to wield rapid combat power from a position of advantage with minimal footprint.

 

Senior Airman David Aguilar, 355th Communications Squadron radio frequency transmission technician, works with U.S. Army Spc. Ryan Perchez, 11th Air Support Operations Squadron signal support system specialist, to encrypt a radio during exercise Pegasus Forge Jan. 28, 2019. During Exercise Pegasus Forge, the 355th Wing’s dynamic forward adaptive basing team’s mission was to wield rapid combat power from a position of advantage with minimal footprint.