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Emerald Warrior-15 a complete success

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. (AFNS) -- More than 2,100 members participated in Emerald Warrior, an annual Air Force Special Operations Command two-week joint service, interagency and partner nation exercise that concluded here May 1.

"Emerald Warrior 2015 was a complete success,” said Col. Brenda Cartier, the Emerald Warrior 2015 exercise director. “It has gone spectacularly. I am very proud of the team and of the folks that have participated.”

The exercise provided realistic and relevant pre-deployment training encompassing multiple joint operating areas. The exercise prepares special operations forces, conventional force enablers, partner nations and interagency elements to integrate with and execute full spectrum special operations.

“It is very important for us to operate with other nations to see how they conduct their training, tactics and procedures,” said Flt. Lt. Mark Dilley, assigned to the Royal Air Force. “It is essential to expose our air crews to large scale multinational operations and to other disciplines they might not normally see.”

Cartier echoed the importance of training in the joint, combined environment.

“Coalitions are key to successful operations, together we become a better more integrated force,” she said.

This year’s iteration of Emerald Warrior had more complex training scenarios that used more advanced tactics, techniques and procedures. It is the Defense Department’s only irregular warfare exercise, using both live and virtual training.

“The three elements that we’re accredited to train in are close air support, tactical mobility and intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance,” Cartier said. “Emerald Warrior is one of the few exercises of this magnitude where you really get to do these partial and full mission profiles in a nighttime scenario. The missions that we’ve conducted during the past two weeks are as complex, and sometimes more complex, than the mission created (by the U.S. Special Operations Command).”

The exercise took place in multiple training areas at Hurlburt Field, Eglin Air Force Base and Apalachicola in Florida; Camp Shelby and Stennis Space Center in Mississippi; Pelham Range in Alabama; and Cannon AFB in New Mexico.

“We want to thank our local community and all of the civilian agencies that supported us throughout this exercise,” Cartier said.