Reserve, active duty accelerate readiness with A-10 integration exercise

  • Published
  • By Maj. Ashley Walker
  • 913th Airlift Group

Total Force aircrews from Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas integrated with combat forces to expand multi-capable Airmen skills, May 11-13, 2021, at a local airport near Salina, Kansas.

Aircrews from the 327th Airlift Squadron and the 41st Airlift Squadron provided agile combat employment to the 442nd Fighter Wing, based out of Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri. In this scenario, the A-10 Thunderbolt II initially provided fighter escort for two C-130Js Super Hercules as the mobility aircraft conducted a simulated airdrop. After landing near Salina, maintainers conducted cargo loading and unloading training with a variety of equipment.

The future fight requires Airmen to expand traditional skill sets in order to project airpower anywhere in the world. Agile combat employment drives aircrew to adapt and deliver support to intermediate staging bases of combat forces as the tactical environment evolves.

“We constantly are looking for ways to expand our combat airlift capabilities. Teaming up with other units and airframes helps us push our tactics and communication skills,” said 1st Lt Blaine Von Berge, aircraft commander. “The combat airlift community is ready to support a wide range of mission sets, ensuring the force can generate airpower anytime, anywhere.”

Aircrews added another level of complexity with the use of the Smoky Hill Weapons Range, Salina, Kansas, to practice evasive maneuvers from simulated surface-to-air defense systems.

“The future fight will require capabilities from a variety of units, which necessitates integration across the Air Force and partner nations,” said Maj. Eric Dueno, 913th Operations Support Squadron director of tactics. “Each flight is an opportunity to expand our skills and ensure we can continue play an integral role in providing critical supplies to sustain operations in hostile environments.”

The Air Force Reserve 327th AS combines experience and skillsets to provide agile combat support, enabling operational surge and long-term operational sustainment at home and abroad.