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Dyess participates in Weapons School JFE

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. David Owsianka
  • 7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

Members of the 317th Airlift Wing flew six C-130J Super Hercules alongside 18 other C-130 variant models and 25 C-17 Globemaster III aircraft during a U.S. Air Force Weapons School Capstone Joint Forcible Entry exercise at the Nevada Test and Training Range, Dec. 4, 2021.

A JFE exercise is a large-scale air mobility training scenario that simulates joint forcible entry and control of an airfield in a contested environment to assess and enhance combat capabilities.

“This helps us practice all of the actions that need to happen before we can even put our aircraft into a contested environment,” said Maj. Darshan Subramanian, 317th AW wing commander action group chief and evaluator pilot. “In order to make the drop zone safe we simulated that surface to air missiles were taken out and enemy air-to-air fighters were suppressed before we simulated the air drop and cargo off-load to ensure personnel could sustain an objective area.”

The exercise enabled C-130 pilots to execute learned training on how to seize, neutralize and provide air-to-ground manpower.

During the weapons school capstone project, the students planned the exercise from Nellis AFB while communicating with personnel from multiple wings to execute the JFE mission of two formation flights and a simulated mass personnel drop. There was a total of 24 C-130 variant models and 25 C-17 Globemaster III aircraft from 10 active, guard and reserve wings that participated in the exercise.

“Participating in this training is important because during a real-world scenario, we will need both of the C-130 and C-17 aircraft to ensure mission success,” Subramanian said. “The C-130s have defensive systems and the C-17s have the volume to carry a large amount of equipment in order to make the mission happen.”

By launching the C-130 aircraft from Dyess AFB, it provided a realistic feel for the JFE exercise while ensuring the students could effectively meet the objective of coordinating between their fighter aircraft, Combat Air Force, intelligence, cyber and ground forces counterparts during the capstone.

“It’s important to prepare us for any fight that may arise anytime, anywhere, said 1st Lt. Alicia Paecht, 39th Airlift Squadron pilot. “It’s also imperative for us to understand all of the planning that goes into it and everything that would take place in a real-world scenario. Being ready to execute whatever is asked of us at a moment’s notice and it’s important to understand the mindset we will need to have in order to execute the missions.”

As aircrew members complete training at the USAFWS, it allows students from each branch of the U.S. military and allied partners to plan and conduct simulated combat aerial operations that will pave the way for future leaders to ensure flexible logistics and drive innovation.

“It was an incredible experience participating in the JFE exercise and large-scale formation flight,” said 1st Lt. Alicia Paecht, 39th AS pilot. “Learning how to rejoin and doing rendezvous for the formation was a great experience that I’ll be able to use during future scenarios.”
Understanding, planning and executing airborne insertion of Air Force assets is integral to how current and future contingency of combat operations may evolve.

“We have to consistently train and be in the necessary mindset to integrate effectively to ensure we will survive in a combat environment if and when we are called upon,” Subramanian said. “The JFE exercise is one of the toughest mission sets in the weapons school and it shows what our C-130 aircrews can do.”