NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — The Royal Danish air force participated in Green Flag-West 14-5 here. Approximately 125 Danish military officials participated in the two week long exercise that began March 14.
The RDAF flew their F-16 Fighting Flacons to the U.S. Army Combat Training Center over Fort Irwin, Calif. to train on close air support.
The exercise is administered by the U.S. Air Force Air Warfare Center at Nellis AFB through the 549th Combat Training Squadron.
The 549th CTS maintains a cadre of qualified air-to-ground experts who provide exercise oversight and ensure the highest level of integration between air and ground forces.
The RDAF participation in the exercise is a way to train their pilots and joint terminal attack controllers in the conduct of air operations in support of ground forces.
“The RDAF is taking part in Green Flag to get the best training for their airmen in air to surface integration,” said Capt. Jennifer Morton, 549th Combat Training Squadron flight commander. “From the maintenance members to the pilots flying the RDAF F-16 [Fighting Falcons] they learn how to tactically operate in contested, degraded and operationally limited environments.”
“We train close air support quite a bit at home,” said Capt. Eric Scharnowski, weapons, plan and tactics officer, from Skrydstrup Air Base, Denmark. “But Green Flag is a great place to exercise that training.”
During the exercise, ground forces call in air strikes and strafe runs on ground targets as a way to eliminate the threat.
“We are working with [the] United States [and other countries] with multiple aircraft as well as different platform types, which we never get to do at home,” Scharnowski said. “[The] scenarios we do here could be convoy support or search and rescue missions.”
The Danish had multiple roles when participating in the close air support exercises during Green Flag 14-5.
“We help out with whatever the exercise needs, which could be making noise,” Scharnowski said. “But if there is trouble, we can go to employing weapons.”
“This is a great way to practice the [close air support] mission as Green Flag is the closest we get to [the] theater in Afghanistan,” Scharnowski said.
Green Flag-West is a realistic air-land integration combat training exercise involving the air force of the United States and its allies.