Training for the joint fight
By Airman 1st Class Jacob T. Stephens, 355th Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 12, 2020
DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. (AFNS) --
Marines assigned to the Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 164 at Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton, California, conducted tactical recovery of aircraft and personnel training with MV-22B Osprey aircrews at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona.
This predeployment training was focused on the Marine Corps integration into joint personnel recovery.
“We conducted an integrated recovery training mission with Air Force squadrons at Davis-Monthan (AFB),” said Marine Corps Maj. Kristoffer Ljunggren, VMM-164 operations officer. “We also conducted combat assault transport training via a simulated air assault and aviation logistics support to and from Davis-Monthan (AFB).”
The training included performing a rescue mission for simulated isolated personnel in an austere environment. This gives MV-22 aircrews a better understanding of tactics, techniques and procedures they would use, which is critical to the execution of the mission downrange and ensures success in the joint fight.
“The training that we conducted was part of a Marine Corps Combat Readiness Evaluation to test our combat capability as we prepare for a future deployment,” Ljunggren said. “A-10 (Thunderbolt II) from Davis-Monthan acted as recovery mission coordinators and rescue escorts for our MV-22s, which were the recovery vehicles for the simulated personnel recovery mission.”
MV-22s can be used as rescue platforms and are supported by the A-10s which are designed to conduct close air support, as well as combat search and rescue. Training with the Marines helps ensure the readiness of Davis-Monthan AFB A-10 pilots to go downrange and execute both of these missions at a level that overpowers any potential adversaries they may face.
“Integrating with Air Force assets enables us to increase our own lethality in a deployed setting by familiarizing us with the tactics, techniques and procedures utilized by our brothers and sisters in blue,” said Marine Corps Sgt. Brian Anderson, VMM-164 MV-22B crew chief. “Our mission set requires us to be able to insert a force of Marines into a hostile environment in order to recover friendly forces trapped behind enemy lines. The Air Force can significantly bolster air power to the Marine Air-Ground Task Force if properly employed, enabling Marines on the ground to accomplish their mission.”
Integration and training with joint force tactics improve the abilities of service members, further enabling U.S. forces to continue to maintain and build on the Department of Defense’s state of high-end readiness that can outmatch any potential threats that our nation may face.
“Our Marines were exposed to the improved capabilities available to us when operating as an integrated joint-service task force,” Anderson said. “The skillset of the Air Force aviators brilliantly complements the capabilities of our own aircraft and significantly boosts our success rate.”
Davis-Monthan AFB constantly supports joint force training and operations, including exercises such as Red Flag-Rescue, for the entire DoD and is used due to its ideal geographic location and the resources available.
“Davis-Monthan (AFB) provides an excellent stand-in for an expeditionary base that allowed us to develop short-notice deployment practices and high op-tempo training,” Ljunggren said. “It also provides an incredible capability for visiting units due to its location, weather, host squadrons and on-base amenities, all of which are highly beneficial for visiting units.”
Davis-Monthan supports 34 unique mission partners, including sister services, as well as training and operations, in support of four combatant commanders worldwide that are executing joint force operations daily through the use of its resources and assets.