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    Three Day Multi-National Training Exercise



    Story by Staff Sgt. Bobbie Reynolds 

    140th Wing Public Affairs

    The three days of training are a landmark for important strategic level deterrence, enhancing air-to-air and air-to-ground combat capabilities, and offering many opportunities to build upon strong interoperability relationships in the Baltic region.
    “Interoperability is a key to success in order to have the ability to fight together successfully,” said Maj. Johan Jeppsson, director of operations assigned to TU JAS 39/ Gripen OT&E Unit, Swedish Air Force. “This includes tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs), and systems interoperability. The relationships you forge during training is important to promote a deeper understanding of each other, which is important for future training, especially if we deploy to the same operations.”
    Lt. Col Marc Garceau, F-16 pilot for the 120th Fighter Squadron, Colorado Air National Guard successfully communicated with global military partners and friends to coordinate events that have never been practiced and provide unique opportunities for different countries to function as one team, focusing on each others strengths and increasing war fighting capabilities.
    “We’re all going to deploy as a team at some point, so for us to have the opportunity to come over here, train in their neck of the woods, while learning about this country and it’s procedures, it’s pretty important for us as an overall team,” said Maj. Kevin Sweeney, in a live interview, refueling over the Baltic sea, F-16 pilot for the 120th Fighter Squadron, Colorado Air National Guard.
    F-16 Fighting Falcons from the United States and Portugal, JAS 39 Gripens from Sweden and British Lynx Wildcat AH1 battlefield reconnaissance helicopters fly together and conduct training exercises based on various planned scenarios in the sky. Swedish helicopters pinpointed targets for U.S F-16 aircraft over Tapa Range for precise target contact, which marked the first time Sweden had been involved with a training of this magnitude.
    “Joint training gives us the possibility to see that our tactics and procedures work while flying and fighting together with other nations. This is really important since it increases our war fighting capability in real world operations,” said Jeppsson.
    Garceau explained that these type of exercises help pilots learn to recognize various air craft while flying and identify friend from foe, in times of war. It focuses on joint interoperability within the framework of scenarios presented to all multi-national players.
    Supported by the crew of the U.S KC-135 Stratotanker from 171st Air Refueling Squadron, Michigan Air National Guard and U.S joint terminal attack controllers from the 122nd Air Support Operations Squadron, Louisiana Air National Guard, Garceau explained that objectives were designed to successfully deter aggressors and defend a fictitious land with various simulated threats, while working with our allies.
    Scenarios were carried out through the three days over Tapa Range, when it involved a range environment and air-to-ground capabilities and others were carried out in the sky, over the Baltic sea with several countries flying together, strengthening our alliance with one another.
    “Every war is a partnership,” said Sweeney. “We don’t go to work by ourselves anymore. Working with our NATO partners here has helped our friendship and alliance become stronger, so any training opportunity we would get with these guys, we’ll do it.”
    The importance of maintaining peace and providing stability in the Baltic region is ever evolving with more and more players each year, improving the long-standing history of defense cooperation with NATO and around the globe.
    “I think this week has shown that we have a deep understanding of each other and that we can operate seamlessly together,” said Jeppsson. “I’m certain that the possibilities for joint training like this will increase in the future.”



    Date Taken: 06.18.2018
    Date Posted: 07.24.2019 19:42
    Story ID: 286179
    Location: AMARI AIR BASE, EE
    Hometown: TALLINN, 37, EE
    Hometown: AURORA, CO, US
    Hometown: CENTENNIAL, CO, US
    Hometown: DENVER, CO, US

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