48th Fighter Wing wraps up exercise Valiant Liberty
By Staff Sgt. Rachel Maxwell, 48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 16, 2020
RAF LAKENHEATH, United Kingdom (AFNS) --
The 48th Fighter Wing concluded its first Valiant Liberty exercise which incorporated Agile Combat Employment techniques, at RAF Lakenheath March 13.
The training was designed to increase the 48th FW’s capability to rapidly support joint operations across the European theater, normalizing interoperability between air and ground force assets.
Participants included the 100th Air Refueling Wing and 352nd Special Operations Wing from RAF Mildenhall; 21st Special Tactics Squadron, Pope Field, North Carolina; 548th Combat Training Squadron, Fort Polk, Louisiana; along with integrated British Special Operations Forces and Joint Forward Air Controller Training Standards Unit.
“Exercises like Valiant Liberty enhance our lethality by building habitual relationships with our (special operations forces) and combat air forces,” said Maj. Ajay Dua, of the 492nd Fighter Squadron. “Training with our joint and combined allies and partners enhances interoperability, allowing our forces to counter military aggression by sharing responsibilities for common defense. It’s our duty to push the envelope and ensure that we are on the cutting edge technologically and with our tactics.”
The 492nd Fighter Squadron’s participation in Valiant Liberty was especially valuable. The exercise served as the capstone on their road to readiness prior to their deployment rotation.
“The United States Air Forces in Europe is operationalizing concepts designed to make us more agile in our execution,” said Lt. Col. Daniel Etue, 492nd FS director of operations. “Agility, deterrence and resiliency are essential to defense and operational capability in a contested environment. We have to be able to generate combat credible air power from wherever our nation and our allies require.”
The training and concepts gained in exercises like Valiant Liberty provides both aircrew and support personnel stationed at RAF Lakenheath the experience needed to maintain a ready and capable force, delivering worldwide responsive combat air power and support to secure the sovereign skies above.
“Exercises and deployments incorporating ACE techniques will help to ensure forces in Europe are ready to protect and defend partners, allies and U.S. interests at a moment’s notice,” said Maj. Edward Habermeyer, 48th Operations Support Squadron Valiant Liberty planner. “Then we can control our forces and integrate with our allies and airmen on the ground seamlessly should deterrence fail.”