HomeNewsArticle Display

Aviano stays 'Forward, Ready, Now' with joint exercise

Joint tactical air controllers call in simulated airstrikes Dec. 2, 2014, in Barcis, Italy. Trained in all types of warfare, JTACs are proficient in a variety of technology, a range of weaponry, and can advise and support ground commanders. The training allowed JTACs to coordinate with F-16 Fighting Falcons and practice calling in airstrikes on simulated targets in the mountains. The JTACs are from the 435th Air Ground Operations Wing's 2nd Air Support Operations Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Matthew Lotz)

Joint tactical air controllers call in simulated airstrikes Dec. 2, 2014, in Barcis, Italy. Trained in all types of warfare, JTACs are proficient in a variety of technology, a range of weaponry, and can advise and support ground commanders. The training allowed JTACs to coordinate with F-16 Fighting Falcons and practice calling in airstrikes on simulated targets in the mountains. The JTACs are from the 435th Air Ground Operations Wing's 2nd Air Support Operations Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Matthew Lotz)

A Royal Netherlands army joint tactical air controller reads coordinates to an F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot, Dec. 4, 2014, in Barcis, Italy. During a week-long exercise, U.S. and Dutch JTACs trained with 555th Fighter Squadron pilots to stay current in their proficiencies. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Matthew Lotz)

A Royal Netherlands army joint tactical air controller reads coordinates to an F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot, Dec. 4, 2014, in Barcis, Italy. During a week-long exercise, U.S. and Dutch JTACs trained with 555th Fighter Squadron pilots to stay current in their proficiencies. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Matthew Lotz)

Royal Netherlands army joint tactical air controllers write down coordinates for a simulated target, Dec. 4, 2014, in Barcis, Italy. During a week-long exercise, U.S. and Dutch JTACs trained with 555th Fighter Squadron pilots to stay current in their proficiencies. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Matthew Lotz)

Royal Netherlands army joint tactical air controllers write down coordinates for a simulated target, Dec. 4, 2014, in Barcis, Italy. During a week-long exercise, U.S. and Dutch JTACs trained with 555th Fighter Squadron pilots to stay current in their proficiencies. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Matthew Lotz)

Air Force joint terminal attack controllers and Army joint fire observers walk back from a training exercise Dec. 2, 2014, in Barcis, Italy. The JTACs are from the 2nd Air Support Operations Squadron and the fire observers are from the 503rd Infantry Regiment. During a week-long exercise near Aviano Air Base, Italy, JTACs coordinated with F-16 Fighting Falcons and practiced calling in airstrikes on simulated targets in the mountains. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Matthew Lotz)

Air Force joint terminal attack controllers and Army joint fire observers walk back from a training exercise Dec. 2, 2014, in Barcis, Italy. The JTACs are from the 2nd Air Support Operations Squadron and the fire observers are from the 503rd Infantry Regiment. During a week-long exercise near Aviano Air Base, Italy, JTACs coordinated with F-16 Fighting Falcons and practiced calling in airstrikes on simulated targets in the mountains. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Matthew Lotz)

Joint tactical air controllers call in simulated airstrikes, Dec. 2, 2014, in Barcis, Italy. Trained in all types of warfare, JTACs are proficient in a variety of technology, a range of weaponry, and can advise and support ground commanders. The JTACs are from the 2nd Air Support Operations Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Matthew Lotz)

Joint tactical air controllers call in simulated airstrikes, Dec. 2, 2014, in Barcis, Italy. Trained in all types of warfare, JTACs are proficient in a variety of technology, a range of weaponry, and can advise and support ground commanders. The JTACs are from the 2nd Air Support Operations Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Matthew Lotz)

AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy (AFNS) -- The 555th Fighter Squadron hosted a weeklong exercise with the U.S. and Netherlands joint tactical air controllers here Dec. 2, as a part of the U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces in Africa's "Forward, Ready, Now" initiative.

Together, JTACs from the 2nd Air Support Operations Squadron and the Royal Netherlands army and U.S. Army 1st Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group, coordinated airstrikes with F-16 Fighting Falcons from Aviano Air Base on simulated targets to stay current in their proficiencies.

"I cannot express how grateful we are that we had the ability to train with the Army, Air Force and Dutch in this exercise," said Capt. Brian Beears, the 555th FS weapons officer and exercise mission commander. "The (555th FS) looks forward to continuing interoperability missions between our NATO and allied countries."

With Aviano AB increasing their flying operations during the exercise from 90 to 310 sorties a week, several units throughout the 555th Aircraft Maintenance Unit, 31st Logistics Readiness Squadron and 31st Operations Support Squadron contributed to ensure the training was successful.

"While not everyone had the opportunity to see or experience the training, this was a base-wide effort," Beears said. "It wouldn't have been as successful as it was if we didn't have the units that travelled down to help also."

Aviano AB has a recent record of successful interoperability missions within the past month. Just two weeks ago, the 555th FS returned from Amari Air Base, Estonia, where they performed similar operations with the Estonian JTACs as a part of Operation Atlantic Resolve.

"With real-world missions like (Operation Unified Protector) and persistent threats like (the Islamic State group), there is no such thing as 'too much training' with our NATO allies," Beears said.

According to Beears, both exercises were intended to give the fighter pilots close air support training -- exercises to enhance communication between air and ground forces that is often critical in real-world operations. To help imitate a deployed environment, the JTACs used actual buildings and mountains to assist them as they called in simulated strikes.

"It's crucial that we were able to train with the (555th FS) pilots," said Capt. Joost, a Dutch army JTAC. "When we are tasked to operate with American pilots, it's good to train with them before to get all the bumps out of the way. There are things these experienced pilots know that we learn during these types of interoperability training."

Joost said the most important training that the Dutch army gets to take away is having the chance to improve their English in an operational setting.

"It doesn't matter what nation you are from, you must be able to speak English to operate downrange," he explained. "It's not just to speak with the Americans, but also the French, Spanish and other European countries that we operate with."

While deployments can happen at a moment's notice, Beears asserted that these types of multinational trainings have helped prepare both the fighter pilots and other Airmen involved.

"If the Air Force wanted to send us right now, we'd pack our things, say goodbye to our family and get on a plane because we are 'Forward, Ready, Now,’" he said.

Engage

Facebook Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: Special Delivery! ✈️📦 The @109thAW teamed up with the @RCAF_ARC for Operation Boxtop, an annual resupply mission to suppo…
We strive to increase our Airmen's lethality and capabilities. Learn about firefighters leading the cost-effective… https://t.co/Nrgx3BSrtl
RT @EsperDoD: Congratulations to Barbara Barrett for her overwhelming bipartisan confirmation by @SenateGOP & @SenateDems to be the 25th Se…
Gen. Stephen Wilson visited Houston to help #SpaceCity celebrate #AstronautWeek. He visited @spacecenterhouston and… https://t.co/Nymvd98qvQ
Our Airmen continuously work to strengthen our alliances. Learn more about how EOD partnered with Niger Armed Force… https://t.co/VwRIOnBokn
Stay tuned for an upcoming episode of #HoustonWeHavePodcast by @NASA_Johnson where Gen Wilson joins Air Force Colon… https://t.co/Y7u9cHFtOt
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: This is an exciting day for our Air Force. Secretary Barrett brings an incredible background and a level of strategic…
The Senate has confirmed the 25th Secretary of the Air Force, Barbara Barrett. https://t.co/Y6kDGD5eds
RT @DoDHealth: #DYK? Many @TRICARE beneficiaries may qualify to purchase vision insurance through the Federal Employees Dental and Vision I…
Hello #Chicago! SrA Genesis Martinez Arteaga grew up in Chicago and has great things to say about the city, click… https://t.co/o8gFv5YYhp
RT @cmsaf18: It's a great day for our teammates in every corner of the DoD! Our brothers and sisters in service are in the best hands possi…
RT @DVIDSHub: This is what it’s like to be a piece of #military cargo being dropped from an aircraft. Try not to get dizzy! … https://t.co…
RT @AF_Football: The C-17 is the newest member of the Air Power Legacy and honors the nine Air Force bases home to the aircraft with tail f…
RT @HQ_AFMC: The @usairforce Life Cycle Management Center will hold a #PitchDay Nov 13-14 in Dayton, OH focused on awarding on-the-spot, Ph…
RT @HQ_AFMC: The newest @usairforce software development lab is coming to downtown Macon, Georgia. "We want to expose the work that we’re d…
Hello Houston, Texas! SrA Myesha Crosby tells us that there is no other city like Houston. Well, we are here to see… https://t.co/L17T5QH1Oo
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: Our Cyber #Airmen take the fight to the enemy in #cyberspace, while keeping us connected w/ each other & our loved one…
RT @ClemsonFB: Jalen Williams || Transferring passion for service and enthusiasm to impacting the world through purposeful employment! Cong…
Great job @AETCommand hosting the @realchefrush. #USAF may have garnered a new recruit. https://t.co/W0RbJ9Fvrz
RT @AstroHague: Can’t wait to showcase our “Airmen in Space” @SpaceCenterHou on Oct. 16, 11:00 a.m. CDT! If you can’t join us in person, tu…