Davis-Monthan Airmen take part in ‘Rally in the Rockies 2021’

The Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., based 354th Fighter Squadron‘s “Bulldogs” recently deployed to Peterson AFB, Colo., for Rally in the Rockies 2021.

Rally in the Rockies is an Agile Combat Employment focused exercise, that ran Sept. 13-17, 2021.

A U.S. Air Force 354th Fighter Squadron A-10 Thunderbolt II pilot walks across the flight line at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, Sept. 16, 2021. The 354th FS forward deployed to austere locations in the Rocky Mountains during a Rally in the Rockies exercise to perform agile
maneuvering tactics, enhance Airmen multi-capable skills and efficiently establish command and control capabilities with minimal equipment and personnel. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kaitlyn J.
Ergish)

During this exercise, small units of maintainers, pilots and aircraft from the 355th Wing forward deployed to austere and contested regions in the Rocky Mountains in order to exercise dynamic forward adaptive basing capabilities.

“Rally in the Rockies has really been an opportunity for us to practice ACE,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Gary Glojeck, 354th FS commander. “This exercise enabled us to utilize a smaller team while dispersing our forces to and from multiple different locations and allowed us to execute how we would remain survivable in a real-world scenario.”

While operating out of these different environments, the mission was to strengthen aircraft maneuvering abilities, mold multi-capable Airmen, and enhance the command and control portion of attack airpower.

“We always talk about the jets capabilities, the special operations refueling that we do or austere landing zone operations,” said Glojeck. “This time, our team focused on building those small units of agile and aggressive attack leaders that will know how to outthink, outmaneuver and outfight our adversaries in an uncertain and ambiguous fight.”

A key component that showcased the 354th FS’s agility was their ability to maintain the same expeditionary skills with a much smaller, but a more diverse and multi-capable team.

“The unique part about this exercise was how geographically isolated we were from the other locations,” said Maj. Jarrad O’Brien, 354th FS DFAB team lead. “Normally we would be given specifics on where to be, when to be there, how much gear to bring and what aircraft we will be operating with, but this time we were only operating with commander’s intent and mission type orders.”

Because of these challenges, 354th FS Airmen were empowered in making difficult decisions, helping build the skill set necessary for the high-end fight.

“We’re teaching our Airmen how to think and not what to think,” said Glojeck. “If they understand what the mission is and why it is important, it enables them to increase their decision speed. This keeps the tactical tempo high, which is what will throw our adversaries off as we continue to maneuver, generate and employ attack airpower.”

The 355th Wing is preparing for the future fight to be contested in every domain and the Bulldogs are continually developing their dynamic and agile forward operating skills. This training gives them an advantage in taking on any adversary that may pose a threat to the United States and its allies, no matter how unfamiliar or treacherous the environment may be.

A U.S. Air Force 354th Fighter Squadron pilot performs post flight checks on an A-10 Thunderbolt II at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, Sept. 16, 2021. The 354th FS forward deployed to austere locations in the Rocky Mountains during a Rally in the Rockies exercise to perform agile maneuvering tactics, enhance Airmen multi-capable skills and efficiently establish command and control capabilities with minimal equipment and personnel. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kaitlyn J. Ergish)
U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt IIs assigned to the 354th Fighter Squadron sit on the flight line at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, Sept. 14, 2021. The 354 FS played a significant role during Rally in the Rockies, an Agile Combat Employment exercise, by quickly refueling A-10s, ensuring ready and lethal air mobility in contested environments. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kaitlyn J. Ergish)
A U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II assigned to the 354th Fighter Squadron sits on the flight line at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, Sept. 13, 2021. The 354th FS forward deployed to austere locations in the Rocky Mountains in support of Rally in the Rockies, an Agile Combat Employment exercise, to perform agile maneuvering tactics, enhance Airmen’s multicapable skills and efficiently establish command and control capabilities with minimal equipment and personnel. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kaitlyn J. Ergish)
Airmen from the 354th Fighter Squadron and 327th Airlift Squadron attach a fuel line on the flight line at Montrose Regional Airport, Colorado, Sept. 14, 2021. Both squadrons played a significant role during Rally in the Rockies, an Agile Combat Employment exercise, to include airlifting fuel to austere locations and quickly refueling A-10 Thunderbolt IIs, ensuring ready and lethal mobility in contested environments. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kaitlyn J. Ergish)
A U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules assigned to the 327th Airlift Squadron sits on the flight line at Montrose Regional Airport, Colorado, Sept. 14, 2021. The 327th Airlift Squadron supported the 354 Fighter Squadron during Rally in the Rockies, an Agile Combat Employment exercise, by airlifting fuel to austere locations and quickly refueling A-10 Thunderbolt IIs, ensuring ready and lethal air mobility in contested environments. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kaitlyn J. Ergish)
A U.S. Air Force pilot assigned to the 327th Airlift Squadron flies a C-130J Super Hercules over the Rocky Mountains, Colorado, Sept. 14, 2021. The 327th Airlift Squadron supported the 354 Fighter Squadron during Rally in the Rockies, an Agile Combat Employment exercise, by airlifting fuel to austere locations and quickly refueling A-10 Thunderbolt IIs, ensuring ready and lethal air mobility in contested environments. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kaitlyn J. Ergish)
U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Tyler Zack, 354th Fighter Squadron commander support section noncommissioned officer in charge, marshals an A-10 Thunderbolt II at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, Sept. 13, 2021. Staff Sgt. Zack forward deployed to Peterson AFB as support for the 354th FS, participating in Rally in the Rockies by performing multiple extra duties in support of the mission as a multi-capable Airman. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kaitlyn J. Ergish)
A U.S. Air Force 354th Fighter Squadron pilot performs post flight checks on an A-10 Thunderbolt II at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, Sept. 16, 2021. The 354th FS forward deployed to austere locations in the Rocky Mountains during a Rally in the Rockies exercise to perform agile maneuvering tactics, enhance Airmen multi-capable skills and efficiently establish command and control capabilities with minimal equipment and personnel. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kaitlyn J. Ergish)

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