JBER flies through exercises Patriot Grizzly, Winter Fury
By Airman 1st Class Caitlin Russell, 673d Air Base Wing Public Affairs
/ Published February 06, 2019
JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- Active duty and Air Force Reserve Airmen from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson arrived at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, San Diego, Calif., Jan. 15, to conduct in-house and joint training until Feb. 13.
After completing joint exercise Winter Fury Jan. 23, aircrew and pilots with the 525th Fighter Squadron, 90th Fighter Squadron, 3rd Maintenance Group and 477th Fighter Group, are continuing to perform flying operations with in-house exercise Patriot Grizzly. Winter Fury involved both Marine F/A-18C Hornets, and Navy F-35C Lightning II’s, partnering with F-22 Raptors to perform air-to-air combat while protecting ground assets.
Although Winter Fury has ended, F-22s will continue to partner with Marine Hornets throughout their in-house training.
“Patriot Grizzly is unique for us (JB Elmendorf-Richardson) because we brought both active-duty and reserve personnel on the temporary duty to increase readiness through consistent flying,” said Capt. Jared Becker, 525th Fighter Squadron pilot. “The integration with our personnel, and then also with the Marines and Navy, has established cross-talk that is important to the exercise and the mission as a whole.”
Both exercises allowed JB Elmendorf-Richardson aircrew and pilots to practice standardized tactics across the services and adjust to different flying procedures and communication. This was the first time JB Elmendorf-Richardson active-duty and reserves participated in a TDY together.
“This exercise has really allowed us to think outside of the box,” said Staff Sgt. Donovan Hall, 525th Aircraft Maintenance Unit dedicated crew chief. “Because we’re on a Marine Air Station, there are a lot of variables that we have to adjust to and be able to make quick decisions. It’s also been good for the teamwork aspect because we’re working with a lot of different organizations, and focusing on the whole joint warfighter mentality.”
Lt. Col. Johnson, 302nd Fighter Squadron deployed director of operations, attested to focusing on joint interoperability. “While operating from a Marine Corps Air Station does have its challenges, such as different flying operations, we’re working through all of those issues and making it happen. All of our interactions with the personnel at (Marine Corps Air Station) Miramar have been top notch; we’ve received a lot of support.”
Exercise Patriot Grizzly and Winter Fury allow JB Elmendorf-Richardson personnel, active-duty and reserve, to increase total force integration across services.
Editors note: For security, some first names have been omitted from the story.