HomeNewsArticle Display

Close-air support key to strategic success

A C-130 Hercules takes off from the flightline carrying both Army and Air Force paratroopers, Dec. 11, 2013, at Aviano Air Base, Italy. The Hercules is the prime transport for airdropping troops and equipment into hostile areas.

A C-130 Hercules takes off from the flightline carrying both Army and Air Force paratroopers, Dec. 11, 2013, at Aviano Air Base, Italy. The Hercules is the prime transport for airdropping troops and equipment into hostile areas.

Paratroopers from the 1st Batallion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, prepare for takeoff in the back of a C-130 Hercules, Dec. 11, 2013, at Aviano Air Base, Italy. Airmen from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, partnered with soldiers from U.S. Army at Vicenza to conduct airfield seizure training operations on Rivolta Italian air force base.

Paratroopers from the 1st Batallion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, prepare for takeoff in the back of a C-130 Hercules, Dec. 11, 2013, at Aviano Air Base, Italy. Airmen from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, partnered with soldiers from U.S. Army at Vicenza to conduct airfield seizure training operations on Rivolta Italian air force base.

Three C-130 Hercules prepare to drop more than 50 paratroopers from 1st Batallion, 503rd Infantry Regiment and the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, Dec.11, 2013, at Rivolta Italian air force base, Italy. The soldiers from U.S. Army at Vicenza conducted airfield seizure training operations as part of the two week close air support training exercise with pilots from Aviano Air Base, Italy. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Briana Jones)
 



Download HiRes
 




Close air support exercise a success 

Posted 12/17/2013   Updated 12/17/2013 Email story   Print story 




Three C-130 Hercules prepare to drop more than 50 paratroopers from the 1st Batallion, 503rd Infantry Regiment and the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, Dec.11, 2013, at Rivolta Italian air force base, Italy. The soldiers from U.S. Army at Vicenza conducted airfield seizure training operations as part of the two week close air support training exercise with pilots from Aviano Air Base, Italy.

Three C-130 Hercules prepare to drop more than 50 paratroopers from 1st Batallion, 503rd Infantry Regiment and the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, Dec.11, 2013, at Rivolta Italian air force base, Italy. The soldiers from U.S. Army at Vicenza conducted airfield seizure training operations as part of the two week close air support training exercise with pilots from Aviano Air Base, Italy. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Briana Jones) Download HiRes Close air support exercise a success Posted 12/17/2013 Updated 12/17/2013 Email story Print story Three C-130 Hercules prepare to drop more than 50 paratroopers from the 1st Batallion, 503rd Infantry Regiment and the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, Dec.11, 2013, at Rivolta Italian air force base, Italy. The soldiers from U.S. Army at Vicenza conducted airfield seizure training operations as part of the two week close air support training exercise with pilots from Aviano Air Base, Italy.

AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy (AFNS) -- Before the sun rises, the sound of an F-16 Fighting Falcon can be heard taking off, breaking the dull silence of the morning as they participate in a two week close-air support training exercise with various squadrons and units.

Known as CAS, the training uses military aircraft in an attack against enemy ground forces that are in close proximity to friendly forces. This requires detailed coordination with ground troops and is typically conducted by joint terminal attack controllers. The use of CAS during wartime can be a critical strategic military tactic that has serious impacts on the outcome of ground warfare.

All pilots assigned to the 31st Fighter Wing are participating in this training exercise with each pilot expected to fly approximately four hours a day. During the exercise, pilots fly as low as 1,000 feet and communicate with JTACS on the ground who are calling in simulated air strikes.

"It's a great opportunity to be able to participate in this training," said Capt. Connor Flynt, the 510th Fighter Squadron standards and evaluation chief. "We are accomplishing a great amount due to the training we are receiving. And all the work that is being done behind the scenes is much appreciated."

This training includes coordination with various units such as the 31st Security Forces Squadron, 31st Maintenance Squadron and the 31st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron.

The training not only included Aviano Airmen, but Army paratroopers from the 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment and the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, as well as Airmen stationed at Ramstein Air Base, Germany.

The training included jumping from a C-130 Hercules, clearing airport areas, aircraft landing, loading service members and departure. Once on the ground, Airmen and Soldiers then participated in an airfield seizure training operation on Rivolta Italian air force base.

"This is a very unique exercise because it's rare that we get to fly with all these different agencies," said Lt. Col. Christopher Austin, 510th Fighter Squadron commander. "This training helps practice what we would be doing if we are called in for a deployment."

In order for the exercise to go off without a hitch, Airmen worked around the clock to ensure jets were ready and mission capable. From sunset to sunrise, maintainers were on the flightline armed with flashlights and tools ready to service, refuel and perform routine maintenance on any jet that needed it.

According to Flynt, their skills and assistance are an essential part of the exercise because without them, jets would not be able to fly rendering the exercise itself obsolete. In all, maintainers serviced more than 30 jets during the exercise and up to six jets a day.

"I want to say thank you to everyone on base that made this training realistic," said Austin. "This training was not easy to coordinate and I'm very grateful for the opportunity. I believe that this training saves lives and we have been given the chance to do just that."

 

Engage

Facebook Twitter
RT @AirMobilityCmd: #Mobilty #Airmen will move heaven and earth to keep America’s promises to its service members. Check out this story of…
RT @DeptofDefense: Bringing them home. More than 82,000 Americans remain missing from #WWII through the Gulf Wars and other conflicts. The…
RT @USAF_ACC: Today is POW/MIA Day. We will forever remember and honor the lives lost fighting for our country. 🇺🇸 #USAF #POWMIARecognitio
Weren't able to make #ASC19 this year? No problem. We've got the goods. Push ▶️ to hear from first-time attendees a… https://t.co/rEOE1eukwz
Howdy Texans! #AmerciasAirForce is heading to the #lonestarstate on Sept. 27. Hear this #Airman share his love for… https://t.co/BS1ysk4ST3
The return of great power competition requires the U.S. military services to change and adapt quickly. Hear from De… https://t.co/kKiNeHywzp
RT @AirMobilityCmd: The four fans of freedom are blowing strong as a U.S Air Force C-130J Hercules from Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansa…
RT @ActingSecAF: Kudos to @AirForceAssoc on #ASC19 👏🏻 What a wonderful professional opportunity for #Airmen & industry to expand our compe…
.@ACC_Commander designates the 16th Air Force as a new information warfare numbered #AirForce at #ASC19. As… https://t.co/LMiMJ3rWNO
RT @AstroHague: Thank you to the Airmen across the globe who make the human exploration of space possible. Wishing the @usairforce a happy…
RT @Hanscom_AFB: “The @usairforce is leading the charge across @DeptofDefense. No one else in #government has as much ... of this software…
RT @PACAF: Commanders from Australia, Indonesia, Republic of Korea, Philippines, Thailand and the U.S. met for the 2019 Logistics and Safet…
To all those who helped establish the long blue line past, present and future, we honor you and we remember with th… https://t.co/teymF7proy
#ASC19: "We’re all in this together trying to make your service to country the best experience on the planet. We w… https://t.co/rdbCDBJr2c
#VCSAF Gen. Stephen Wilson speaks on what makes the #AirForce unique. #ASC19 https://t.co/gStwUZoaQC
RT @AFSpace: @AstroHague takes #aimhigh to the extreme by celebrating the @usairforce's birthday from the @Space_Station! #FrontiersofBlue
RT @VP: Happy 72nd birthday to the @usairforce! On behalf of a grateful nation, thank you to the amazing men and women of the Air Force for…
#ASC19: There's a challenge to maintain warfighting capabilities until new bombers and missiles arrive. Hear more f… https://t.co/SWB3VjNod8
#ASC19: Want to know which three acquisition trends #AirForce acquisition experts believe should "go viral?" Click… https://t.co/hsiH3oQXOX