95th FS, FGS complete first TDY

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Zeeshan Naeem
  • 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Airmen from the 95th Fighter Squadron and Fighter Generation Squadron recently went on their first temporary duty assignment at Truax Field, Wisconsin Air National Guard Base, March 1-16.

This TDY marks the first off-station flying training event for Tyndall Air Force Base’s F-35A Lightning II mission after jets started arriving to home station, Aug. 1, 2023. The 95th FS and FGS sent six aircraft to lay the groundwork for future mobility and combat readiness events, providing pilots and ground crews the opportunity to refine their skills with the Air Force’s latest fifth generation multirole fighter aircraft.

Airmen practiced loading cargo, generating aircraft and preparing jets for takeoff in a constrained environment. Pilots from the 95th FS and Wisconsin ANG’s 115th Fighter Wing flew joint training missions focused on weakening enemy defenses in air-to-air combat. The operations section had the responsibility of mission planning, where they scheduled daily air-to-air training.

“The objective was to take the team to an unfamiliar base and operate outside of our normal processes,” said Lt. Col. Michael Powell, 95th FS commander. “Truax Field offered a nice stepping-stone approach since they also operate F-35s, which allowed the teams to reduce their footprints in personnel and equipment as we leveraged some of the host unit facilities and equipment. This reduced costs, increased integration and flexibility.”

The training in an unaccustomed environment set the tone for readiness, cohesion and adaptability while providing a baseline for what needs to be evaluated for the future. Both necessary feats, as the 325th Fighter Wing recently transitioned from a training mission to an air combat mission.

“We sent a large portion of our squadron, all the way from our squadron commander to some of the newest Airmen,” said Tech. Sgt. Ryan Wilson, 95th FGS noncommissioned officer of the support section. “During a TDY, you won’t have the comforts of being at home, we had limited personnel, tools and resources. The constraints helped us work together as a team to accomplish mission requirements, forcing us to practice like we play.”

The involvement with other units provides valuable experience for the 95th FS, not only for the on-the-job upgrade training but for simulating a combat environment where factors such as location, time or quantity of takeoffs are unpredictable.

“Alongside Ops, the maintenance section exceeded what was originally planned by executing [over eight takeoffs] a day with zero missed sorties in conjunction with routine aircraft maintenance,” Powell explained. “Logistics successfully shipped four trucks, 134 personnel and assisted Traux process their own deployment assets with over 280 pieces of equipment and pumped over 106,000 gallons of fuel. The performance while we were there was phenomenal, as each team not only met but exceeded the requirements.”

With Tyndall AFB being projected to serve as a hub for F-35 operations, this first temporary duty assignment serves as another step towards the 325th FW becoming a fully capable combat coded wing ready to project unrivaled combat airpower for America.