HomeNewsArticle Display

Air combat exercise Iron Hand 15-2 enhances interoperability in Europe

Airmen look over an F-15E Strike Eagle assigned to the 494th Fighter Squadron at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, Dec. 18, 2014, before the pilot participates in exercise Iron Hand 15-2 at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany. Iron Hand 15-2 brought together all of United States Air Forces in Europe-Air Force Africa’s fighter airframes to train. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman)

Airmen look over an F-15E Strike Eagle assigned to the 494th Fighter Squadron at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, Dec. 18, 2014, before the pilot participates in exercise Iron Hand 15-2 at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany. Iron Hand 15-2 brought together all of United States Air Forces in Europe-Air Force Africa’s fighter airframes to train. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany (AFNS) -- Pilots from all U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa's fighter airframes came together at Spangdahlem Air Base in December to participate in a five-day training exercise called Iron Hand 15-2.

"Iron Hand 15-2 is unique because it is a U.S.-only air combat exercise with the intent of enhancing interoperability," said Lt. Gen. Darryl Roberson, the 3rd Air Force and 17th Expeditionary Air Force commander. "Interoperability is important not only between services and partner-nation air forces, but also among aircraft and mission sets within our own Air Force."

The proximity of Spangdahlem AB to other fighter wings in Europe proved to be valuable for this type of exercise.

"We were able to bring in the fighters from Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, and Aviano Air Base, Italy, to Spangdahlem (AB)'s central location," Roberson said. "It's the perfect air space for us to do this kind of high-end training."

Roberson not only oversaw the exercise from the ground but also got a firsthand view of the training from the cockpit of an F-15E Strike Eagle.

"It was such a monumental effort that Lt. Gen. Roberson came out to witness and participate in this rare training opportunity," said Lt. Col. David Berkland, the 480th Fighter Squadron commander. "We don't often get to plan, brief, fly and debrief face-to-face with our fellow USAFE fighter warriors, let alone our 3rd Air Force commander."

The exercise's focus was on suppression of enemy air defenses (SEAD) tactics which limits enemy air defenses to allow military assets greater freedom of movement in hostile environments -- the 480th's specialty.

"Spangdahlem (AB) is the only SEAD asset for (European Command) and (Africa Command)," Roberson said. "It's important that all three fighter squadrons could work together on this specific type of training so when the threat is real, we are ready."

The exercise not only allowed pilots to sharpen their skills, but also gave the Airmen on the ground a chance to hone their abilities.

"We had another awesome performance from our aircraft maintenance Airmen," Berkland said. "We don't bring firepower to the war unless our maintainers give us combat-ready jets, sensors and weapons. This exercise proved what a great ops-maintenance team we've built."

The combined efforts of three different fighter squadrons, maintenance Airmen and key leadership allowed Iron Hand 15-2 to reach its objective of increasing USAFE-AFAFRICA's fighter airframes air readiness and capability.

Engage

Twitter
Congratulations to the winners of the annual Air Force Art Contest! More than 790 artists submitted over 1,000 piec… https://t.co/Ig4yL7GiYJ
Twitter
RT @NORADCommand: #NORAD is increasingly integrating its bi-national operations with other commands and allied forces around the globe to e…
Twitter
.@HQUSAFEAFAF #Airmen tackled training obstacles during the multinational Arctic Challenge Exercise 2021. Over 45 d… https://t.co/ClslKugpIl
Twitter
Moody Air Force Base #Airmen conducted a Heritage Flight with the HH-60G Pave Hawk and HH-60W Jolly Green II. The J… https://t.co/8HSXly2zyn
Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: ANG Airmen from Maryland, California, Tennessee, Arkansas & Michigan conduct aircraft fire training during PATRIOT 21 in…
Twitter
.@RamsteinAirBase C-130's & Amn w/ the 435th Contingency Response Group are participating alongside the Royal Moroc… https://t.co/b84jylScrA
Twitter
125th Special Tactics Squadron operators conduct a full mission profile exercise in Oregon. The squadron organizes,… https://t.co/9xtrhej53T
Twitter
RT @USAfricaCommand: Moroccan, U.S. fighters & refuelers showcase combined ops 🇲🇦🇺🇸 “Every flight brings another opportunity to work close…
Twitter
RT @USAFCENT: Airmen prepare for tactical airlift operations aboard a C-130J Super Hercules aircraft, supporting @CJTFOIR. The C-130J deli…
Twitter
RAF Lakenheath performed a missing man flying formation in memory of 1st Lt. Kenneth “Kage” Allen, who was killed a… https://t.co/yrGm4i2dRS
Twitter
RT @NORADCommand: #AmalgamDart brings together personnel and assets from various commands such @INDOPACOM @US_Stratcom @US_SpaceCom @usairf
Twitter
She used to lead cheers for a @NFL team. Now she leads #Airmen at @9thRW, California. The only thing that's changed… https://t.co/Jri6r0mGI0
Twitter
.@AirNatlGuard #Airman is leading a multi-agency effort to create the first anthropometric—or body measurement—stan… https://t.co/2V8ZgBN67g
Twitter
RT @USAFCENT: Our EOD Airmen are taking over the night and prepared for the fight any time of the day! The 378th ECES's EOD team locates, i…
Twitter
RT @AFGlobalStrike: Being a flying crew chief on a #B52H is no easy feat. While deployed in forward operating locations, chiefs use their t…
Twitter
#Airmen and @USArmy Soldiers are participating in the virtual 2021 Joint Forces Contracting Exercise. The goal is t… https://t.co/qscGsekWC4
Twitter
Good luck Capt. Westmoreland! #USOpen https://t.co/dE4sq6bnRQ
Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: This week, 1000+ personnel from across the nation traveled to Wisconsin to participate in PATRIOT 21. Exercise PATRIOT jo…
Twitter
Check out this week of #airpower on display! Share your favorite and tell us why! Check out the rest of the Week i… https://t.co/CmpDDTMZ21
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
1,347,930
Follow Us