Air Force

December 21, 2012

Ducks train in high desert

Tags:
Staff Sgt. C.J. HATCH
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs


One Luke Air Force Base fighter squadron spent last week in a cold, unforgiving high desert environment doing training with remote piloted aircraft, F-22s and German Tornadoes.

The 309th Fighter Squadron might not have actually been cold, but they did spend Dec. 7 through 14 flying and training in the 5,000′ elevation high desert of the White Sands Missile Range with Airmen at Holloman AFB, N.M.

“We packed up 182 personnel and 18 aircraft from the Ducks squadron and aircraft maintenance unit and took them to Holloman,” said Lt. Col. Stephane Wolfgeher, 309th FS commander.

The week in New Mexico had benefits and challenges for members of the 309th.

“Our team did a great job overcoming challenges, just as expected,” said Maj. Matthew Warner, 309th FS director of operations. “In less than 30 days, our lead planners ensured everyone had a place to stay and food to eat. On our second day, there a strong cold front moved through during the night and our ops facility didn’t have any heat, so the building was in the 50s all day long. We also had some communications difficulties making computer access hard to come by. Instead of complaining about the cold or the lack of planning tools, everyone shook it off and got to work. We put 24 jets in the air daily, trained six students and kept a positive attitude.”

Holloman Airmen also helped with challenges that arose any way they could.

“In addition, the Airmen from the 49th Fighter Wing were phenomenal hosts,” Warner said. “They gave us a facility to work out of, excellent hangars for the aircraft and did everything possible to help us overcome the challenges we experienced.”

When the training opportunity came up, the Ducks were the perfect choice.

“Our last basic course of 14 students graduated Nov. 30, and the following class began Wednesday,” Warner said. “Since our student load decreases during this timeframe, it was a great opportunity to ‘test the waters’ out there at Holloman. This trip used five training days. Two days to get the jets here and back, two down days to prep the jets to go, and one day after our return to allow maintenance to recover them. This has driven us to start our next B-course one day later than what we had originally planned, but we are confident we will make up for lost ground in January.”

While at Holloman, the 309th trained with diverse aircraft and also helped the 49th FW understand having F-16s there.

“Though Holloman has remotely piloted aircraft, F-22s, German Tornadoes and F-4 targeting drones, it has been some time since such a robust flying schedule has taken place here,” Warner said. “We flew 24 sorties, each day. With three runways and such significant aircraft variations, bringing the F-16 operation to Holloman en masse gives a little insight into how the F-16 training business works. In return, we get a quick look at what major successes and challenges may be in store for the future.”

Flying at a different location didn’t stop the Ducks from continuing the training for the few students they had.

“We brought our students along,” Warner said. “So we flew the same student training as we would at home, with the majority of those students needing air-to-air training. We also provided a weapons instructor course spin-up ride for Capt. Thomas Hayes, who will be the next 56th FW pilot to represent the Thunderbolts at Air Force Weapons School. With the remaining sorties we accomplished continuation training for our assigned instructor pilots in all phases of flight.”

By the time the Ducks left Holloman, they had flown 132 sorties worth more than $1.36 million in training, dropped GPS guided weapons, laser-guided bombs, and shot thousands of 20mm rounds.

They also provided eight incentive rides for deserving 56th FW team members and about 10 familiarization rides to 49th FW Airmen.

“I could not be more proud of the effort the ops and maintenance professionals have put into making this TDY a success,” Warner said. “We couldn’t have been prouder to represent the wing.”




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


 
 

 
Senior Airman Devante Williams

56th FW has new mission

Senior Airman Devante Williams Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, left, 56th Fighter Wing commander, and Charles Lilly, right, lithograph artist, present the new 56th Fighter Wing lithograph May 21 during the 56th FW change of mission cer...
 
 

Develop your replacement

Although it might be a hard pill to swallow in today’s self-esteem charged, participation-trophy society, we are all replaceable. I often say of the Air Force’s perpetual personnel moves, we are all transitional employees so we should subscribe to the “hit by a bus” theory of leadership development. In other words, if you don’t show...
 
 

Balance

It is obvious, since the beginning of time, society in general has become more and more advanced. Today’s Air Force is absolutely no exception. As Airmen our mission is simple — to fly, fight and win. However, when we look at the essence of what each one of us do in the Air Force, that...
 

 
Senior Airman James Hensley

A mother’s right …

Senior Airman James Hensley Senior Airman Marcy Copeland, 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs photojournalist, closes a curtain to the nursing room May 13 at the 56th Force Support Squadron Child Development Center on Luke Air For...
 
 

News Briefs May 29, 2015

Leadership Gold Members of the Profession of Arms Center of Excellence are visiting Luke to present Dr. John Maxwell’s Leadership Gold, which grows leaders and fosters teamwork, at 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday in the Navy Operational Support Center, Bldg. 300, Room 412. The event is open to all military and civilian service members...
 
 

35 senior airmen graduate ALS

The 56th Fighter Wing Airman Leadership School graduated 35 senior airmen May 14 from class 15-4. The award winners are: John L. Levitow Award: Noah Bolton, 56th Operations Support Squadron Distinguished graduates: Jared Clark, 56th OSS; Jacob Gagnon, 56th Component Maintenance Squadron; and Rodney Yolangco, 56th OSS Commandant’s Award: Jared Clark, 56th OSS Academic Achievement...
 




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