F-16s from Shaw AFB conduct joint training at MacDill

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Justin Carnahan
  • 6th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft from Shaw Air Force Base’s 79th Fighter Squadron “The Tigers”, Sumter, South Carolina, conducted joint integrated training at MacDill and Avon Park Air Force Range during exercise Raider Fires 21-12 Sept. 8-15, 2021.

This joint training enhanced the exercise participants’ capabilities and qualifications, which included three pilot and two joint terminal air controller training Airmen upgrades, and 10 JTAC Airmen evaluations.

“We had a bunch of JTACs out on the range and we came out here so we could practice dropping inert munitions while they practiced their tactics,” said Maj. David Brady, 79th FS flight commander.

JTAC Airmen direct the action of combat aircraft engaged in close air support and other offensive air operations. A qualified and current joint terminal air controller is recognized across the Department of Defense as capable and authorized to perform terminal attack control.

The Tigers brought four F-16 aircraft, seven pilots and maintenance support Airmen to conduct the vital joint training in ways that are impossible to accomplish at Shaw AFB.

The training at MacDill allowed Shaw’s F-16 fighter pilots to integrate into a joint training environment to practice dropping inert munitions from their aircraft instead of simulating the air-to-ground training.

“Getting to come down and work on a range where we can drop munitions and work with actual JTACs, this is the closest thing we’re going to get to a deployed location before we actually deploy,” said Brady.

Additionally, the 79 FS used this joint training as an opportunity to practice and refine their agile combat employment checklists and procedures.

Agile combat support is an Air Force distinctive capability that touches every functional area and is key to meeting the Air Force's mission to organize, train, equip and employ air and space power. The goal of agile combat support is to provide the most capable air and space forces to combatant commanders.

“TDYs like this one enable our pilots and maintainers to practice joint integration and learning away from home station,” said Capt. Marie Carillo, the 79th Fighter Squadron’s deputy director of operations, “Executing tactically in the ‘fog and friction’ of off-station operations helps prepare us for whenever and wherever we are called to serve next.”


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