DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Airmen from the 317th Airlift Wing at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, recently participated in exercise Mosaic Tiger at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, Nov. 15-19, 2021.
Mosaic Tiger is a five day, multi-phase exercise focused on quick turn deployment to a simulated war environment. The training included multiple tasks involving dynamic re-tasking of pilots, and focused on operating in a simulated combat environment which tested Agile Combat Employment skills.
“We learned a lot about command relations, and how we can best support the Air Combat Command’s lead wing construct,” said Capt. Daniel Bogue, 39th Airlift Squadron pilot. “This exercise highlighted the requirement for an airlift Subject Matter Expert to be included in a Combat Air Forces Lead Wing Operating Center.”
Over the course of the exercise, Airmen supported 16 A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft between two different locations. This training improved their ability to arm, fuel, and launch aircraft from combat environments anywhere in the world.
Aircrew members also demonstrated their ability to launch directly from Dyess AFB, complete flights with other aircraft and conduct airdrops in a simulated theater.
“Usually for exercises, crews would deploy on one day, then plan and fly the following day,” said Bogue. “With the training operations that was conducted, we proved our ability to launch directly from our home base into a combat environment, while bringing the required support to stay and fight for the entire week.”
Loadmasters worked through cargo not normally moved during day-to-day operations, keeping them on their feet for materials with various loading requirements.
“Exercises like this help us prepare for future deployments we will be part of,” said Staff Sgt. Zachary Perkins, 39th AS loadmaster. “Getting to see different cargo on these exercises only broadens the experience of our loadmasters and helps them think outside the box.”
The exercise was ever-changing, and brought challenges to the loadmasters. Making new connections with different agencies and working through simulated cyber-attacks, Airmen quickly rose to the challenge with out of the box problem solving.
Given warning of a simulated adversary strike, Airmen were able to rapidly get aircraft off the ground away from the threat, and move cargo required to create two combat locations for the A-10s, creating a new tactical operating center for the C-130s to continue the fight.
“I think the most important thing about this exercise was the fact that nothing was ever set in stone,” said Senior Airman Antonio Parks, 39th AS loadmaster. “Everyone had to be flexible to get the mission done.”
ACE exercises like Mosaic Tiger are becoming way the U.S. Air Force supports future wars, and using this method of training continues to grow their tactics and procedures.
“Mosaic Tiger was absolutely crucial training where we got to use the methods we have been conceptualizing and test them with real-world assets,” said Bogue. “The greatest takeaways that I saw was the moving of our planning cell to another location, having real-world assets that needed to move, and seeing how other assets are operating in an ACE environment.”