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Herk Nation, mission partners tackle JFE exercise

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Aaron Irvin
  • 19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. -- Little Rock launched six C-130J Super Hercules in support of the U.S. Air Force Weapons School’s Joint Forcible Entry exercise at the Nevada Test and Training Range, Dec. 6.

The USAF Weapons School teaches graduate-level instructor courses that provide the world's most advanced training in weapons and tactics employment. The culmination of the course is the Advanced Integration phase in which all assets combine in challenging scenarios, simulating current and future threat arenas.

“Our participation in the JFE is mutually beneficial,” said Capt. Robert Black, 61st Airlift Squadron pilot. “JFE provides the WIC students a venue to execute their mission plan and verify their tactics before graduating from the course. Together, we are able to test our integration of forces with a Joint perspective on how to best support airdrop operations and assess air threats, surface-to-air threats and ground threats.”

In total, the exercise featured approximately 85 aircraft who engaged in an intricate airdrop operation in a simulated enemy environment where sophisticated Integrated Air Defense Systems were employed.

Participants from LRAFB included the 19th Operations Group, 61st AS, 41 AS, 19th Maintenance Group, 29th WPS, 913th Airlift Group and 327th AS.

“This exercise allows us to continue to advance tactical capabilities across the Mobility Air Force and further build upon the concepts tested in the June JFE,” said Col. Andrew Roddan, 19th OG commander. “It also allows us a venue to prioritize our training to project the Joint Force and ensure our ability to conduct operations in and through complex and contested environments.”

Although the transport and insertion of the Army 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers was simulated for this particular event, they still played a critical role throughout the planning process, further validating the importance of Joint partnership. 

“Integrating our Army partners into the planning process moves us past theoretical discussions,” said Black. “It allows us to experiment and expand upon what each service brings to the fight, making us a more lethal and ready force.”

The AF continues to focus on the Joint Warfighting Concept in order to maintain the competitive advantage against any adversary.

“We will win future high-end fight under the leadership of Airmen who, at the tactical edge, can quickly solve complex problems,” Roddan said. “JFE provides the hands-on experience to develop Joint-minded, Mobility Airmen that are ready to compete, deter and win – anyplace, anytime.”