Combat training supports 21st century strategy
As the nation winds down from a decade of combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Defense Department is shifting its focus to the future and recently introduced new strategic guidance describing the projected security environment and key military missions for which the department will prepare.
“Our strategy review concluded that the United States must have the capability to fight several conflicts at the same time,” said Defense Secretary Leon Panetta while unveiling the nation’s new defense strategic guidance. “We are not confronting, obviously, the threats of the past; we are confronting the threats of the 21st century. And that demands greater flexibility to shift and deploy forces to be able to fight and defeat any enemy anywhere.”
To meet 21st century challenges such as terrorism, cyber threats, anti-access/area denial environments and violent extremists, the DOD relies heavily on airpower and joint interoperability to deter, deny and defeat aggression.
For more than 70 years, American airpower has stood as a cornerstone of success throughout a wide-variety of military operations and remained in the fight long after fighting ceased on the ground to enforce no-fly zones, move people and equipment and provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. As technologies, tactics, techniques, procedures continuously evolve realistic training ensures the combat air force maintains the edge in air, space and cyberspace.
The 337th Test and Evaluation Squadron is scheduled to complete the final-phase of operational testing for the joint air-to-surface standoff missile. JASSM-ER is an autonomous, air-to-ground, precision-guided standoff missile designed to meet the needs of U.S. warfighters.
An Air National Guard member from Eglin Air Force Base became the Guard’s first F-35 Lightning II instructor pilot. Maj. Jay Spohn, 33rd Fighter Wing, is responsible for training up fighter pilots who will fly the fifth-generation F-35 and will carry the U.S. Air Force into the next 50 years of air superiority.
An Airman with the 13th Air Support Operations Squadron out of Fort Carson, Colo., was killed along with three Army personnel Aug. 8 after a suicide bomber attacked his vehicle in Kunar province.
Airmen from the Air National Guard along with members of the Botswana defense force worked together to kick-start a joint exercise called MEDLITE12 aimed to establish and develop military interoperability, regional partnership and synchronize capacity-building.