Local

May 4, 2012

WSMR commander visits Luke to smooth transition of F-16s to Holloman

Tags:
by Tech. Sgt. Jasmine Reif
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Senior Airman Sandra Welch
U.S. Army Brig. Gen. John Ferrari, White Sands Missile Range commanding general, receives F-16 egress training April 24 from Staff Sgt. Veronica Armstrong, 56th Operations Support Squadron NCO-in-charge aircrew flight equipment continuation trainer, before his flight in the F-16 with the 310th Fighter Squadron.

In preparation for the transfer of the 308th Fighter Squadron to Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., next year, the commanding general and command sergeant major from White Sands Missile Range received familiarization flights and a base tour April 24 and 25.

During their visit, Brig. Gen. John Ferrari and Command Sgt. Major Felipe Paul received pre-flight training, a wing mission brief and a tour of the 310th Fighter Squadron.

“The flight was great and it’s important to understand the capabilities of the aircraft and the effect it has on the people inside,” Ferrari said. “I told my wife that it was like being on a roller coaster for two hours. It’s always important as new capabilities are coming to White Sands that we understand what they’re doing, how they do it and what the requirements are.”

While he enjoyed the entire visit and flight experience, Ferrari now has an even greater appreciation for the skills of the F-16 pilots.

“My favorite part of the flight was the strafing run, because when you’re up in the air and bombing from far away, you don’t appreciate how fast you’re going and what’s going on,” Ferrari said. “But as you’re coming down and getting close to the ground you can actually see how little margin of error there is and how a small mistake can cost you. When you’re at 500 feet you better know what you’re doing and these pilots definitely do.”

Ferrari’s overall impression is that Luke Air Force Base is a “fabulous place to live, work and train.” He explained the ability to take care of the diverse needs of 21 different units on the Barry M. Goldwater Range complex is a tremendous accomplishment and really makes it a unique national asset.

The 56th Fighter wing commander agrees that Luke is a great place to be and invited Ferrari to show him how the Air Force trains the greatest F-16 pilots and maintainers.

“My desire was to ensure White Sands leadership understands the importance of a stable airspace plan when it comes to training students,” said Brig. Gen. JD Harris, 56th FW commander. “His orientation flight was a syllabus flight that dealt directly with Close Air Support, which is one of the many missions we will fly at White Sands starting 12 months from now.”

The WSMR is similar to the BMGR complex in some ways, but is unique because the airspace is not controlled by the Federal Aviation Administration. The only other place in the United States where the airspace is not controlled by the FAA is at the White House. However, the airspace may be owned by the Army, but the range is jointly managed.

“We own the airspace from zero to infinity and there is no commercial traffic,” Ferrari said. “We control it through a joint operation on White Sands. The equipment belongs to the Army, but the air traffic controllers are Air Force, who live on White Sands, but belong to Holloman AFB. We have Army, Air Force and Navy test centers, so it’s a truly joint facility. I like to say we were joint before joint was cool.”

The general went on to stress that Holloman and White Sands, in the past and in the future, have always been and always will be inextricably linked.

“Our test mission is tremendously enhanced by the capabilities, both testing and training at Holloman,” Ferrari said. “They have testing, training and operational units, so we already know how to coexist. The F-16 requirements are different, so what we’re doing now is figuring out how everyone who uses the range will have to adjust to make them a part of the battle rhythm. We have a year to work that in so there is a lot of cooperation and collaboration going on now.”

While the transition will take planning and new processes to incorporate the F-16s, WSMR and New Mexico are excited to be adding such a valuable capability to their training mission.

“Holloman, White Sands and the state of New Mexico are excited about the opportunity to have the F-16s come to the region because they will bring with them capabilities that will enhance all of the other missions that are out there,” Ferrari said. “So as a community, southern New Mexico will become a tremendous testing and training center of excellence and the F-16s will greatly add to the reputation, capabilities and capacity of the region. Everybody is excited about them coming.”




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


 
 

 
Pg-1-photo-150612-F-EC705-058

Emerald Knights go out with bang

Emerald Knights watch a burning piano during the 308th Fighter Squadron inactivation party June 12 at Luke Air Force Base. The 308th FS and aircraft maintenance unit have packed up and are transitioning to the 314th FS standing...
 
 
2_lemery_d2

Respect — want, earn, give, but don’t lose it

Lt. Col. David Lemery We all want it, some earn it, some are given it and some lose it. Respect can be defined as a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities or achievements. As ...
 
 

Solve problems at lowest level

Crucial in our Air Force environment today is having the proper tools and skillsets available to deal with problems. There is literally something new almost every single day that will invoke problem solving skills. When faced with a problem, an important mindset to have is to resolve the issue at the lowest possible level. Some...
 

 

News Briefs June 26, 2015

607th ACS change of command Lt. Col. Charles Jones will relinquish command of the 607th Air Control Squadron to Lt. Col. Jerald Canny in a ceremony at 8 a.m. Wednesday in Hangar 999.   CMS change of command Maj. Scott Hall will relinquish command of the 56th Component Maintenance Squadron to Maj. Anthony Sutton in...
 
 

Fighting Falcons arrive at Holloman

Courtesy photo Six F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 308th Fighter Squadron at Luke Air Force Base arrive in formation June 16 at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico. The 308th FS has inactivated and the soon to be activated 314th FS assumes the 308th FS mission of training F-16 pilots as a 56th Fighter Wing...
 
 
5_Courtesy-photo

Monsoon season blows in storms, rain, dust

Courtesy photo Arizona is known for being sunny with clear skies for the majority of the year, but every year “it” happens. As the clouds roll in, the sky darkens with thunderbolts streaming overhead, and the first drops of...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>