HomeNewsArticle Display

Gunfighter Flag 20-1 enhances capabilities against near-peer adversaries

U.S. Air Force F-15E strikes eagles take-off while three HH-60G Pave Hawks standby Aug. 17, 2020, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. Both airframes are participating in Gunfighter Flag 20-1, which aims to hone joint and multi-national armed forces to become more agile and lethal. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Andrew Kobialka)

F-15E Strike Eagles take-off while three HH-60G Pave Hawks standby Aug. 17, 2020, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. Both airframes are participating in Gunfighter Flag 20-1, which aims to hone joint and multi-national armed forces to become more agile and lethal. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Andrew Kobialka)

An F-15E Strike Eagle from the 389th Fighter Squadron, engages the afterburners for Gunfighter Flag 20-1, Aug. 18, 2020, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. GFF 20-1 provides units the opportunity to train with joint and international partners to complete combat and rescue exercises. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Natalie Rubenak)

An F-15E Strike Eagle from the 389th Fighter Squadron engages the afterburners during exercise Gunfighter Flag 20-1, Aug. 18, 2020, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. GFF 20-1 provides units the opportunity to train with joint and international partners to complete combat and rescue exercises. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Natalie Rubenak)

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho (AFNS) -- The true strength of the U.S. military lies in its joint, allied and partner capabilities. That is, the combined power and coordinated efforts between branches of the U.S. military and nations across the world. Few places provide a more realistic training ground than the high desert found at Mountain Home Air Force Base.

The Mountain Home Range Complex offers 9,600 square miles of airspace to train an array of combat, rescue and support missions.

Throughout the week of Aug. 17, fighter jets, helicopters, a C-130 Hercules and more came together to train in a challenging and ever-changing environment. This was an exercise known as Gunfighter Flag 20-1.

This exercise leverages the unique airspace of the region to host a large scale employment of aircraft from Italy, Norway, the Netherlands, Singapore and Australia, as well as the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Army.

“The goal was to integrate and refine our joint international partner capabilities against near-peer threat adversaries,” said Maj. Michael Lynch, 366th Fighter Wing chief of weapons and tactics and the exercise director.

They have achieved this by flying up to 40 aircraft simultaneously in the same airspace and completing hundreds of missions in a span of a week.

Some of the participants included are the 55th Rescue Squadron, 389th Fighter Squadron, 391st Fighter Squadron, 62nd Fighter Squadron, 428th Fighter Squadron, 266th Range Squadron and 213th Strike Fighter Squadron.

Planning and executing such complex training could be challenging without a considerable amount of coordination. Tech. Sgt. Kimberly Miller, 366th Fighter Wing noncommissioned officer in charge of plans and receptions, is responsible for that coordination. She ensures that visiting units have a streamlined funnel of information and resources to make them mission ready before they arrive.

“I work with Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and other nations. Everyone comes here to train,” Miller said. “I have to know how to communicate with them all, which can be challenging. But exercises like GFF are special, not only because it is huge and diverse, but because everyone learns to speak in one voice to complete the mission.”

With other military branches and countries participating in GFF, it is necessary to build a shared professional language to use as they continue to work together in the future.

“We have to learn to be flexible in our communications and operations,” Lynch said. “As a wing, every unit is tested as they step outside of their usual work to support an influx of units and an increase in operational tempo around the base. This test of flexibility is directly in line with the Air Force’s focus on creating an agile and adaptable force needed for future fights.”

Even as the participants learn to become one cohesive team, they are made stronger and more effective by being forced to overcome new and unknown opposition.

“The range and our adversary equipment here are some of the best in the Department of Defense,” Lynch said. “The advanced threat we simulate will provide a real world test to our participants.”

The 266th RANS from the Air National Guard was out all week moving threats, changing targets and conducting simulated opposition forces. This ever-changing environment means every scenario will require different solutions.

“Our adversaries won’t be static and this requires us to be able to quickly shift strategies,” Lynch said. “Building this into our training now means our execution will maintain a tactical edge and increase our problem solving abilities.”

Meanwhile, having a broad group of career fields and air frames working together allows the Air Force and other participants to learn each other’s capabilities and then train to leverage those abilities to increase lethality in the real-world and overall mission readiness.

“Throughout this exercise I have continued to learn the extent of the combined strength of our multi-national capabilities in a joint fight,” Lynch said. “Additionally, the ability of the 366th FW team to innovate and provide solutions to problems presented during COVID-19 is what has enabled an event of this size and scope to still occur.”

Regardless of world events and uncertain times, the Air Force leads the way to enhancing readiness and strengthening our alliances and partnerships.

“Exercises like GFF 20-1 sharpens us into an agile and lethal force to meet current and future threats,” Lynch said.

Engage

Twitter
Supporting the Department of the Air Force Arctic Strategy. From development to ops in less than a year! These inn… https://t.co/kDXsw1hJ8P
Twitter
Taking care of people The Women’s Health Transition Training, which is offered virtually, provides information on… https://t.co/yL9UQ0V9rf
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: I believe that success takes a team, but failure you can do alone. Grateful for the chance to sit down and connect with a…
Twitter
RT @HQ_AFMC: A new $33 million contract is increasing #COVID19 testing capabilities at 42 #military treatment facilities across the @usairf
Twitter
Accelerate change or lose. @GenCQBrownJr expressed his vision for fulfilling the Air Force's mission and protectin… https://t.co/t2iHEW5yAM
Twitter
RT @airforcerso: Every operation and campaign is only as strong as its supply chain. Tune into #AMO2020 today to watch teams compete in a w…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Thank you to @MilFamiliesMag for talking with Sharene and me today. The wellbeing of our families is essential to the suc…
Twitter
RT @cmsaf_official: While many people are sleeping, Maintainers are still hard at work... Our teammates Ellsworth AFB, shared a picture of…
Twitter
RT @cmsaf_official: It’s the Airmen who aren’t in this photo that I want to talk about. They are out there right now turning wrenches, gene…
Twitter
RT @airforcerso: 13 teams are competing to help the @USAirForce with better performing, more cost-effective & reliable technology that prod…
Twitter
Keeping combat agile 💪 @USAF_ACC is testing agile combat employment & a new lead wing deployment concept intended… https://t.co/0F3nAwIZnx
Twitter
Strengthening international partnerships. #ReadyAF #AimHigh https://t.co/m5YeqA8i5G
Twitter
Modernizing our fighting force! #AimHigh #InnovativeAF https://t.co/pEQUJdqYFE
Twitter
#DYK The 563rd Rescue Group directs flying operations for the #USAF's only active duty rescue wing dedicated to Com… https://t.co/QYDiSZ50qe
Twitter
Another day at the office. Can't comPLANE. 😉 ⚡ #LoveThisJob #ReadyAF #AimHigh https://t.co/7Vjemy7gP7
Twitter
RT @AirMobilityCmd: Blinded by the light 😎🔆 @TeamFairchild is taking #innovation to another level by setting the standard for Project Tesse…
Twitter
Defense data for academia! 🎓 “Digital engineering isn't a fluke … It is our future.” - Dr. Will Roper, assistant… https://t.co/NQsFQpmu2N
Twitter
RT @DeptofDefense: Dr. Anderson participated in Global Thunder, US-Stratcom’s annual NC2 exercise while traveling to Minot. This exercise i…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Laid a wreath at the American Cemetery in Münsingen, Switzerland, which hosts the gravesites of 61 U.S. Army Air Forces…
Twitter
RT @WILLROP3R: ASKED/ANSWERED. Friday, a @usairforce U-2 spy plane updated code during flight--a military first! Update #2 improved automat…
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,296,119
Follow Us