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    The 184th ATKS and Navy Collaborate for Joint Operations Readiness

    Fleet Integrated Synthetic Training

    Photo By John Williams | 160322-N-PO203-001 PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (Mar. 22, 2016) Naval Aircrewman (Tactical...... read more read more



    Story by Maj. Jennifer Gerhardt 

    188th Wing

    Earlier this year, personnel from Ebbing Air National Guard Base’s 184th Attack Squadron partnered with the U.S. Navy for fleet synthetic training.

    “FSTs are relatively new for our unit here in Arkansas, and we are starting to gain traction on being more integrated and intentional when it comes to naval exercises,” said Maj. Stephen Hyde, the 184th Attack Squadron chief of training. “However, this is by no means our first interaction with the Navy. There are many opportunities throughout the year in which we train with other services to gain joint knowledge and experiences. We also send crews to help plan and train alongside Army and Marines to communicate the capabilities and limitations of our aircraft.”

    Fleet synthetic training is an essential component of current naval training. The advanced simulator training is designed to teach sailors how to successfully operate everything from ships and submarines to aircraft and helicopters. It provides a safe, but realistic environment to train and gain experience. During the latest training exercise, the 184th Attack Squadron Airmen were helping educate seafaring commanders on the best way to utilize MQ-9 aircraft.

    “Think about it this way, with proper planning you may have an air asset already in the area you plan on sailing through,” said Hyde. “The airborne asset can accurately paint a picture of all potential threats in the area. Accurate battlefield tracking and persistent airborne intelligence surveillance reconnaissance (ISR) something major commands and ground commanders put an extremely high emphasis on, especially if they plan on committing soldiers and operators to the area.”

    Moreover, fleet synthetic training can also provide challenging or high-threat scenarios like advanced enemy air defenses, electronic warfare, or cyber-attacks that would be difficult to replicate in live-training exercises. By exposing personnel to realistic, but simulated, challenges, it allows sailors and Airmen a chance to develop skills in a controlled environment, making them better prepared for real-world operations.

    Collaborating with the Navy also helps Air National Guard Airmen. Joint exercises showcase how 188th Wing Airmen are force multipliers projecting military strength abroad while simultaneously helping Airmen train integration capabilities with the home-station simulator. Airmen participating in the exercise can take lessons learned and train fellow personnel without extra cost to the budget or the information getting watered down.

    “Understanding each other and how we fight in a joint environment is key to winning the next fight,” said 1st Lt. Kyle Shaw, 184th Attack Squadron. “Remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) have capabilities the Navy wants and needs for accurate and timely intelligence.  Developing relationships and highlighting RPA capabilities to the Navy helps us become even more lethal for the next fight.”  

    Through joint training integration, communication between branches improves. Airmen can bring attention to a priority targets, new capabilities/information, or potential, but unintended, casualties not accounted for in real time as it happens. Communicating directly to the seafaring commanders or essential decision makers helps eliminate the ‘fog of war’ but also helps sailors and Airmen have a greater understanding of the command-and-control structure and strategic objectives and priorities.

    “Being exposed to a different service and seeing how they operate opens your eyes to problem sets that you may not have experienced before,” said Staff Sgt. Conner Ciabattari, an intelligence analyst with the 184th Attack Squadron. “It can lead to problem solving in different ways or ‘thinking outside the box.’
    While the Navy is self-sufficient in providing their own airborne assets, our objective is to work toward a future of flawless interoperability if the need should arise. Showing the capabilities of our asset and our crews is good look for our platform, our base, and the Air National Guard in general. Overall, the Navy was thoroughly impressed by our abilities in providing the decision makers with timely and effective airborne ISR and strike capabilities.”

    Working with the Navy directly aligns with the Air Force’s current objectives to foster interoperability, allowing for seamless integration and coordination in joint operations.

    “In my opinion, collaborating with the Navy falls squarely into the heart of the future operating concept stating no service can operate alone,” said Hyde. “If you cannot work within the joint service construct, it will severely hamper our ability to communicate effectively and hold objectives. When it comes to a near-peer future war or conflict, there will not be time for the U.S. military to ask for a pause until we can get on the same sheet of music. We need to iron these details out now to remain agile, responsive, and more flexible to deny any adversary’s objectives.”

    The 184th ATKS will continue to play a significant role in the Air Force Future Operating Concept by working with joint services to establish interoperability, fostering collaboration, and provide realistic training scenarios to help enhance readiness and enable aircrews continuous learning and improvement.



    Date Taken: 07.27.2023
    Date Posted: 07.27.2023 09:17
    Story ID: 450087
    Location: FORT SMITH, AR , AR, US

    Web Views: 211
    Downloads: 1