Devils of the same feather train together: 50th ARS team up with 96th BS

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Christopher Thibeaux-Moore
  • 6th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

MacDill’s own 50th Air Refueling Squadron “Red Devils” teamed up with crews from the 96th Bomber Squadron  also named the “Red Devils”, from Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, to conduct integrated training April 19-21, 2021.

Crews took to the sky to fly sorties aimed at demonstrating proficiency in a multitude of simulated flight scenarios, to include, operating in degraded environments and flying in contested air space.

“We are pushing the Full Spectrum Readiness and ‘Accelerate Change or Lose’ mindset,” expressed Capt. Joel Gonzalez, 6th Operation Support Squadron, chief of wing tactics. “That’s why we have come here, we have been able to imbed a ton of training into this one mission.”

During the integrated training, crews from the 50th ARS and the 96th BS coordinated plans to meet individual training goals and mission planning in a face-to-face environment, simulating real life efforts to provide rapid global mobility.

“Our Airmen must be multi-capable and adaptable team builders, as well as innovative and courageous problem solvers, and demonstrate value in the diversity of thought, ingenuity, and initiative,” exclaimed Gen. Charles Q. Brown in his “Accelerate Change or Lose” directive, to Airmen to promote change in an increasingly contested environment.

Geared to prepare pilots for operating through various challenges similar to those used in combat, this training was unlike many that have been done before.

Along with refueling, pilots and boom operators participated in simulated scenarios alongside their bomber counterparts.  

While at Barksdale, MacDill’s aircrews underwent aircraft commander training, as well as “Visual Flight Rule” training and mission planning. Additionally, observer coach trainers oversaw all aspects of the training and provided valuable feedback.

Over the course of the integrated training, crews demonstrated their capabilities in complex scenarios and continue to do their part to deliver on the United States Air Force’s promise “To fly, fight, and win…airpower anytime, anywhere.”