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.


 
 

 
DT_JTC0216

Supreme allied commander comes home

Gen. Philip Breedlove, left, NATO supreme allied commander, Europe, visited Luke Air Force Base Sept. 12. Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, right, 56th Fighter Wing commander, briefed the general on Luke’s evolving mission to train F-3...
 
 
Senior Airman Grace Lee

Command post chief averts potential disaster

Senior Airman Grace Lee Capt. George Normandin, 56th Fighter Wing Command Post chief, received the Aviation Safety Well Done Award Sept. 2, presented by Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, 56th FW commander. Normandin took control of an F-...
 
 

You are what you eat

“You are what you eat.” This is a generic statement or a notion. It implies that if you eat healthy, you will be healthy. But how true is this in the world today? What we eat, drink, wear, drive and buy is often an attempt to construct a social identity. It lets others know who...
 

 

Knowledge equals power

The phrase “knowledge is power” is said to originate from Sir Francis Bacon in 1597. Personally, I remember learning the phrase from the old television show “School House Rock” theme song. The key idea behind the phrase is the more knowledge you accumulate, the more “power” you will have. Here is a simple breakdown: knowledge...
 
 
Senior Airman
MARCY COPELAND

EOD Airman changed for good by life experiences

Senior AirmanMARCY COPELAND Tech. Sgt. David Gerig’s, 56th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal team chief, first assignment after technical school was Kadena Air Base, Japan. The challenges in life are often w...
 
 

News Briefs September 19, 2014

CFC kick-off The 56th Fighter Wing Combined Federal Campaign kick-off charity fair is 9 a.m. Monday in Bldg. 1130 auditorium. Learn about the 2014 campaign ‘Serving Our Country. Supporting Our Community.’ and visit with local charities. For more information, call Maj. Jennifer Preyer-Bonton at 623-856-7144. Hispanic Heritage Month National Hispanic Heritage Month began Monday and...
 




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