435th CRG demonstrates strike package support concept
By Staff Sgt. Jimmie D. Pike, 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
/ Published October 15, 2018
RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany -- At any moment, in the modern dynamic warfighting environment, anything can happen; and the U.S. Air Force knows flexibility is the key to airpower. This flexibility is forged by Airmen through constant innovation and training.
Airmen assigned to the 435th Contingency Response Group conducted a proof-of-concept exercise at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Oct. 4, 2018, to showcase this ability.
“The 435th Contingency Response Squadron was exercising the ability to generate strike package support utilizing the bare minimum equipment and personnel required,” said Tech. Sgt. Jayson Lyons, 435 CRS operations, readiness, and training flight chief. “We were also proving the ‘hybrid Airman’ concept that CMSAF (Kaleth O.) Wright briefed, to conduct arming and dearming, refueling, and cargo movement in a simulated combat environment.”
On the ground, one of the focus points of the exercise was completing a “hot refuel” of two F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft.
“A ‘hot refuel’ is when you refuel an aircraft with one or more engines of the aircraft operating,” said Lyons. “It provides the least amount of personnel and equipment needs, and can reduce aircraft regeneration time up to 70 percent.”
“Hot refuels” are especially important when there may be an imminent threat in the area, explained Lyons.
Along with the 435th CRG, 15 agencies participated in the exercise to demonstrate Airmen’s ability to support strike packages at a moment’s notice in austere locations. Among the 15 agencies were the 86th Airlift Wing providing the airfield and support, the 52 Fighter Wing providing the fighter aircraft, and the 435th Air Ground Operations Wing providing manpower and over-sight.
“At the 435th CRG we believe that in order to ensure the peace we need to be prepared for war,” said Col. Jason Terry, 435th CRG commander. “This exercise is about demonstrating our ability to jump into a field, secure the field, assess it, bring the aircraft in and do what we do. It’s all part of the bigger overall mission of the 435th Air Ground Operations Wing’s to deliver bombs, com(munication)s, and airfields on demand.”