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6th Air Mobility Wing Airmen fuel Emerald Warrior 2019

An MC-130H Combat Talon II aircraft closes in to receive fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to the 6th Air Mobility Wing during Exercise Emerald Warrior, Jan. 17, 2019.

An MC-130H Combat Talon II aircraft closes in to receive fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to the 6th Air Mobility Wing during Exercise Emerald Warrior, Jan. 17, 2019. Emerald Warrior provides annual realistic and relevant pre-deployment training encompassing multiple joint operating areas to prepare special operations forces, conventional force enablers, partner nations and interagency elements to integrate with and execute full spectrum special operations in a complex and uncertain irregular warfare security environment using all aspects of live, virtual and constructive training assets. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Senior Airman Adam R. Shanks)

An MC-130H Combat Talon II aircraft receives fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to the 6th Air Mobility Wing during Exercise Emerald Warrior, Jan. 17, 2019.

An MC-130H Combat Talon II aircraft receives fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to the 6th Air Mobility Wing during Exercise Emerald Warrior, Jan. 17, 2019. Emerald Warrior provides annual realistic and relevant pre-deployment training encompassing multiple joint operating areas to prepare special operations forces, conventional force enablers, partner nations and interagency elements to integrate with and execute full spectrum special operations in a complex and uncertain irregular warfare security environment using all aspects of live, virtual and constructive training assets. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Senior Airman Adam R. Shanks)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Michal, a 50th Air Refueling Squadron boom operator, refuels an MC-130H Combat Talon II aircraft over the Gulf of Mexico in support of Exercise Emerald Warrior, Jan. 17, 2019.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Michal, a 50th Air Refueling Squadron boom operator, refuels an MC-130H Combat Talon II aircraft over the Gulf of Mexico in support of Exercise Emerald Warrior, Jan. 17, 2019. Emerald Warrior provides annual realistic and relevant pre-deployment training encompassing multiple joint operating areas to prepare special operations forces, conventional force enablers, partner nations and interagency elements to integrate with and execute full spectrum special operations in a complex and uncertain irregular warfare security environment using all aspects of live, virtual and constructive training assets. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Senior Airman Adam R. Shanks)

U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Sean Thomas, a 91st Air Refueling Squadron KC-135 Stratotanker pilot, scans the evening horizon for the receiver aircraft during an aerial-refueling mission supporting Exercise Emerald Warrior, Jan. 17, 2019 over the Gulf of Mexico.

U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Sean Thomas, a KC-135 Stratotanker pilot assigned to the 91st Air Refueling Squadron, scans the evening horizon for the receiver aircraft during an aerial-refueling mission supporting Exercise Emerald Warrior, Jan. 17, 2019 over the Gulf of Mexico. Emerald Warrior provides annual realistic and relevant pre-deployment training encompassing multiple joint operating areas to prepare special operations forces, conventional force enablers, partner nations and interagency elements to integrate with and execute full spectrum special operations in a complex and uncertain irregular warfare security environment using all aspects of live, virtual and constructive training assets. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Senior Airman Adam R. Shanks)

A KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft assigned to the 6th Air Mobility flies over the Gulf of Mexico to refuel an MC-130H Combat Talon II aircraft Jan. 17, 2019 in support of Exercise Emerald Warrior.

A KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft assigned to the 6th Air Mobility Wing, MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., flies over the Gulf of Mexico Jan. 17, 2019 in support of Exercise Emerald Warrior. Emerald Warrior provides annual realistic and relevant pre-deployment training encompassing multiple joint operating areas to prepare special operations forces, conventional force enablers, partner nations and interagency elements to integrate with and execute full spectrum special operations in a complex and uncertain irregular warfare security environment using all aspects of live, virtual and constructive training assets. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Senior Airman Adam R. Shanks)

MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --

Team MacDill fueled Emerald Warrior 2019, a U.S. Special Operations Command sponsored total, joint tactical warfare training exercise, Jan. 14 to 25.

 

During the two-week training exercise, the 50th and 91st Air Refueling Squadrons and the Force Support and Logistics Readiness Squadrons from the 6th Air Mobility Wing supported Emerald Warrior’s training events.

 

“During my Emerald Warrior flight, our team offloaded around 30,000 pounds of fuel over Avon Park for six A-10 aircraft and a single AC-130 gunship,” said Capt. Luke Brown, a 50th ARS KC-135 pilot. “Emerald Warrior was unique with visibility as I could see payloads hit the ground; I definitely left with a broader sense of the mission and a deeper understanding of my part in it.”

 

MacDill’s Auxiliary Field located within Avon Park Air Force Range, Florida, is a remote military training facility and serves as a launch pad for exercise operations.

 

Since Emerald Warrior specializes in advanced tactical warfare under any conditions, it opened up the instructional playbook to enable a wide range of training scenarios with multiple aircraft.

 

“This training exercise is important because it certifies refueling pilots as well as combat pilots to be ready to deploy at any time,” said Brown.

 

Additionally, nine A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft from the 107th Fighter Squadron at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Michigan, travelled to MacDill AFB in January to participate in the training exercise. A U.S. Army UH-60 Black Hawk, AH-64 Apache helicopters, AC-130 Stringer II aircraft, an MC-130 Combat Talon II and other fighter aircraft also brought air power to the training.

 

“Between Jan. 14 and 25, MacDill's tankers offloaded approximately 450,000 lbs. of fuel to A-10, MC-130 and AC-130 aircraft,” said Lt. Col. Brian Dumond, the 166th ARS tanker lead planner.

 

The extra fuel is critical to flight operations in both training and real world contingencies.

 

“Providing 4,000 to 5,000 pounds of fuel to an A-10 extends their flight time several hours,” said Brown.

 

More flight time means more weapons dropped or, more importantly, lives saved.

 

Not only did MacDill Airmen fuel the fight, they ensured visiting service members were taken care of on the ground.

 

“MacDill has been a wonderful host for our unit, especially the lodging team,” said 1st Lt. Cammy Alberts, the 127th Wing public affairs officer from Selfridge ANGB. “We have more than 200 personnel here with each of us having our own room and as a whole, we don’t have any complaints with our stay here.”

 

The 6th LRS team provided fuel and transportation for equipment and personnel, effectively driving the success of the exercise from behind the scenes.

 

“The petroleum, oil and lubricant flight provided fuel for our A-10s, the transportation management office team provided safe transportation of our equipment and the vehicle operations flight provided our team safe and reliable transportation between the base and auxiliary field,” said Alberts.

 

When diverse personnel and resources come together to accomplish a mission, they become an efficient warfighting force.

 

“Emerald Warrior is a crucial military training exercise because it develops coalition partnerships and interoperability in an ongoing effort to modernize our warfighting capabilities and increase lethality,” said Alberts.

 

MacDill might just be one cog in the machine, but due to the efforts of its Airmen, U.S. Special Operations Command joint forces can operate at a higher tactical and strategic level through unmatched mission support.