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Archive for the ‘Forces Focus’ Category

Fifteenth Air Force Activates, Consolidates Air Combat Comand’s Conventional Forces – Includes Significant Amount of AF Ground Forces

Saturday, August 29th, 2020

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. (AFNS) —

Fifteenth Air Force activated Aug. 20, integrating wings and direct reporting units from Twelfth Air Force and Ninth Air Force to form a new Numbered Air Force responsible for generating and presenting Air Combat Command’s conventional forces.

ACC’s conventional capabilities include fighter, remotely piloted aircraft, command and control, and rescue flying units plus Air-Ground Operations Airmen who integrate Air Force capabilities in combined arms operations, the Air Force’s dedicated base defense group, RED HORSE, or Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operations Repair Squadron Engineers, and the agile combat support units that open and operate our bases. In addition to organizing, training, and equipping ACC’s conventional forces, this new NAF will also present a deployable joint task force-capable headquarters that can provide command and control of integrated ACC forces.

“Consolidating these forces into the Fifteenth Air Force is another step toward implementing the Air Force’s new force generation construct and will enable the delivery of dynamic and agile combat airpower as directed by the National Defense Strategy,” said Gen. Mike Holmes, commander or ACC. “This reorganization will streamline and improve the way we present our conventional forces as part of the new USAF construct, while honoring our history and the dedication of our Airmen.”

Following this transition, Twelfth Air Force will focus on its component role for U.S. Southern Command as 12 AF/AFSOUTH. Meanwhile, the existing Ninth Air Force will be inactivated and U.S. Air Forces Central Command will be re-designated as 9 AF/AFCENT.

The creation of the new NAF is part of a larger force optimization effort within ACC, which began with the stand-up of Sixteenth Air Force, a dedicated information warfare NAF, last fall.

Maj. Gen. Chad Franks received the guidon from Holmes, assuming responsibility for leading the more than 45,000 Airmen assigned to the new NAF.

“When I took command of the Ninth Air Force in June 2019, I stated we would focus on getting even better, so we could continue to deliver unmatched lethal fires for our joint and coalition partners wherever it is required,” Franks said. “Through our joint task force-capable mission and the advocacy for our units, we have done that. As the Fifteenth Air Force, we will continue to progress further toward that vision and provide a lean and agile mission command and control of forces to enable us to protect, deter, and deploy against emerging threats. Thank you for allowing me the great honor to be the commander of the Fifteenth Air Force and I look forward to visiting all of the units in the near future.”

The Fifteenth Air Force was first established in 1943 as the Mediterranean theater’s air force. After World War II, it served as one of the primary NAFs in Strategic Air Command deterring Cold War Soviet aggression before transferring to Air Mobility Command in 1992 as an expeditionary task force.

No units will be physically moving and the majority of affected Airmen will not experience changes in their day-to-day operations.

www.af.mil/News/Air-Force-TV/videoid/764061

By Staff Reports, Air Combat Command Public Affairs

USAF 36th Contingency Response Group Hosts Exercise Machete Green on Guam

Tuesday, August 18th, 2020

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam (AFNS) —

COVID-19 has disrupted many plans for governments, businesses and military operations but in some ways has created unique opportunities.

The 36th Contingency Response Group hosted and completed exercise Machete Green July 29-31, at Northwest Field. 

The exercise objectives were to open an airfield in a hostile and contested environment that teamed service members from the 36th CRG and the U.S. Navy’s Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25.

The 36th CRG normally, almost always, has a vast majority of its members from the expeditionary group traveling in support of real-world operations. However, due to COVID-19, the 36 CRG took advantage of the opportunity with many members present and in garrison to “sharpen their skill sets,” according to Col. Eric Schmidt, 36th CRG commander.

“This gives us an opportunity to come together and go through our mission sets,” Schmidt said. “It’s an opportunity to get some muscle movements on the exercise itself, which would be an air base opening in a contested environment.”

The 36 CRG enabled 107 warfighters the ability to hone their training techniques and procedures during EMG that focused on 85 tactical objectives that included: airfield survey, setting up defensive-fighting positions, temporary command center, and airfield withdrawal once the CRG’s objectives were completed.

“We are highly specialized,” Schmidt said. “All of these service members are getting an opportunity to do what they do, because everyone brings something different to the fight.”

Maj. Ryan Kiggins, 736th Security Forces Squadron commander, mentioned that opening an air base puts into practice tactics, techniques and procedures, or TTPs, that are employed in any environment that they could be sent to.

“This exercise will help validate and verify multiple positions and teams in order to maintain our quick-turn global-response capability,” Kiggins said.

Schmidt also mentioned that completing this exercise will improve sharing procedures with partners and allies to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific.

“We are heavily invested in the PACAF, INDO-PACOM theater,” Schmidt said. “Currently, due to things outside our control, we have to exercise internally, but when restrictions ease in the future, we are looking to partner and build stronger relationships with our host-nation partners. One of the CRG’s primary goals is to bring the Koku Jieitai (Japan Air Self Defense Force) and Royal Australian Air Force into these exercises. Whenever we can work with a host nation or partner and work together in any kind of environment, developing those TTPs is important when we go have a joint fight together.”

Schmidt plans on leading the 36th CRG into more of these training events in the future.

“My plan is that our next exercise will focus on humanitarian assistance, and the following one, disaster response,” Schmidt said. “My main focus is to give our folks the opportunity to be out here working and training together. In my opinion, that’s a huge win in this environment and when we get tasked and go out the door. There is no doubt we will be ready.”

By SrA Michael S. Murphy, 36th Wing Public Affairs

First Munitions Squadron in AFSOC History

Sunday, July 12th, 2020

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla —

Formerly with the 1st Special Operations Maintenance Squadron, the munitions flight distinguished themselves as a new squadron in the 1st Special Operations Wing.

The 1st Special Operations Munitions Squadron activated July 8, 2020, and is the first munitions squadron in Air Force Special Operations Command history.

U.S. Air Force Maj. Clayton Seiler, commander of the 1st SOMUNS, assumed command after serving as the 7th Munitions Squadron commander at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas.

“Our role is to provide the best munitions support to our warfighters in the most efficient, effective and professional manner,” said Seiler.

1st SOMUNS Air Commandos build, collect, package and distribute munitions to the 1st SOW’s inventory aircraft, directly maintaining the readiness and lethality of the wing.

“There is a recognition for munitions being a unique skill set required for our mission,” said Seiler. “It also allows us to be a right sized squadron to focus on our Airmen and their families.”

The 1st SOMUNS is composed of four flights with more than 250 personnel, creating a separate squadron allowing focused leadership capable of being there for every Airman and their families.

“My family does so much to support what I’m doing here so I can focus and support our squadron needs,” said Seiler. “They’re my rock.”

Similar to Seiler’s family supporting him, he wants to create the same type of support within his squadron.

“We can make this squadron a culture and climate people want to be a part of,” said Seiler. “This is a great opportunity for everyone to make this squadron what they want it to be.”

Seiler’s first priority is to understand his Airmen, talk to his leadership team and build the squadron together.

“Our role is to support warfighters and ensure we provide them with everything needed to complete the mission,” said Seiler.

1st SOW aircraft are lethal because of the combat capability provided by the 1st SOMUNS.

“Without munitions, we would just have a fleet of airliners,” said Seiler.

By Airman 1st Class Blake Wiles, 1st Special Operations Wing Public Affairs

The 75th Ranger Regiment Announces Permanent Activation of the Regimental Military Intelligence Battalion

Wednesday, June 17th, 2020

Effective June 16, 2020, the Regimental Military Intelligence Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment is officially activated and an enduring part of the 75th Ranger Regiment.

The Regimental Military Intelligence Battalion was provisionally activated on May 22, 2017 at Fort Benning, Georgia.

It was announced in October 2019, that the battalion would became a permanent part of the 75th Ranger Regiment.

“Within Sullivan’s Charter for the 75th Ranger Regiment, we continue to evolve as an ‘awesome force composed of skilled, dedicated Soldiers who can do things with their hands and weapons better than anyone,’” Lt. Col. Timothy Sikora, Commander, Regimental Military Intelligence Battalion said.

“Today the intelligence and cyber Rangers remain at the top of their fields, able to do things with their tools that are rarely matched by their peers.”

“Each one of the RMIB Rangers earned their tan beret and scroll the same as every other military occupational specialty in the 75th Ranger Regiment formation,” Sikora added. “Everyone is a Ranger first.”

Whether it is unmanned aircraft systems operators, all-source analysts, geospatial analysts, human intelligence collectors, technical operations, electronic warfare or cyber analysts, RMIB Rangers make up the majority of Ranger-tabbed Soldiers in their specialties.

“In deployed and garrison environments, the RMIB adapts to meet the needs of the 75th Ranger Regiment,” Sikora said. “We are 75% towards our authorized fill and continue to actively recruit motivated Soldiers from all specialties to join our team.”

For more information on serving with RMIB, go to: www.benning.army.mil/Tenant/75thRanger/RMIB-ABOUT or email [email protected] or [email protected].

About the Regimental Military Intelligence Battalion

The battalion’s mission is to recruit, train, develop, and employ highly trained and specialized Rangers to conduct full spectrum intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, cyber, and electronic warfare operations in order to enhance the Regimental Commander’s situational awareness and inform his decision-making process. Presently, the RMIB consists of a headquarters detachment and two companies.

The staff and command group are embedded within the Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment. It leads the Regiment’s recruitment and management of intelligence Rangers, synchronizes intelligence training and operations across the Regiment and with other special operations and conventional forces, and also provides intelligence support to the Regimental staff.

The Military Intelligence Company possesses a diverse mix of capabilities which include all-source analysts, geospatial analysts, human intelligence collectors, counterintelligence agents, and unmanned aerial systems. This enables the company to conduct multi-discipline collection and production, expeditionary imagery collection and processing, exploitation, and dissemination of raw data, and all-source analysis, to further enable the Regiment’s training and operations.

The Cyber Electromagnetic Activities Company integrates and synchronizes cyber, electronic warfare, signals intelligence, and technical surveillance in support of the Regimental Commander’s objectives. The CEMA Company represents a new approach in line with the Army’s intent of fielding a modernized force capable of operations on any front. The multi-domain concept provides a non-linear approach where all events can occur across the environment at any time. CEMA places emphasis on innovation, technological advancement and electronic pursuit to support real time operations against any threat, digital or otherwise.

Rangers Lead the Way!

800th RED HORSE Group Activated Under Ninth Air Force

Friday, June 12th, 2020

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. (AFNS) — The 800th RED HORSE Group activated June 1 during a ceremony at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. RED HORSE stands for Rapid Engineer Deployable, Heavy Operational Repair Squadron, Engineer.

The 819th RHS located at Malmstrom AFB, Montana; 820th RHS located at Nellis AFB; and 823rd RHS located at Hurlburt Field, Florida, comprise the new group nested under Ninth Air Force.

“The consolidation of the three contiguous U.S. active duty RED HORSE squadrons under a single group is in-line with the Air Force Chief of Staff’s priority to cost effectively modernize the lethality of the force,” said Maj. Gen. Chad Franks, Ninth AF commander. “This group will train and equip the Air Force’s primary heavy contingency construction capability presented to combatant commanders.”

Col. JJ Loschinskey, 819th RHS commander; Col. Peter Feng, 820th RHS commander; and Col. Andy DeRosa, 823rd RHS commander, played a key role in the creation of the RHG that contains three of the four active-duty RED HORSE squadrons.

“We are ecstatic to move to a squadron/group construct that supports Ninth (Air Force),” Feng said, who also became the 800th RHG commander. “This organizational change will ensure we can meet future National Defense Strategy requirements. We built on previous discussions from past RED HORSE commanders who recommended a structure that corrals the three squadrons under a command structure subordinate to one Numbered Air Force. The three commanders … advocated to their NAF commanders that creating this structure was vital to the success of the organization to support future warfighter construction requirements.”

While the 819th RHS and 823rd RHS were previously under the Ninth Air Force, the 820th RHS fell under 12th Air Force. As a group, the RHG will continue to provide multi-capable Airmen both in garrison and deployed.

“Multi-capable Airmen is what we build at RED HORSE,” Feng stated. “In garrison, the critical thing we have developed in our people, is the ability to think through big problems and solve them in any way possible. Then, while deployed, our multi-capable Airmen can perform tasks across many different AFSCs to accomplish the goals set forth in front of us.”

This is not the first RHG that has been established in the Air force, but it’s the first not in response to a conflict. The last time an RHG was stood up was in 2002 when the 1st Expeditionary RHG in Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, was created to manage construction requirements for RED HORSE units in the theater and became the 1st Expeditionary Civil Engineer Group that exists today.

By Tech. Sgt. Amanda Dick, Ninth Air Force Public Affairs

10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) Cold Weather Training

Sunday, March 8th, 2020

Over the course of this winter, “The Originals” of 10th SFG(A) have conducted a wide variety of cold weather and mountaineering training both at their home base of Ft Carson, CO and in at various locations in Europe.

Royal Marines Assault Engineers Conduct Sabotage And Denial Training In Norway

Thursday, February 27th, 2020

The Royal Marines are in the process of reshaping themselves as the “Future Commando Force” which looks an awful lot like becoming what they were in the 1970s and 80s, a light force of raiders from the sea.

45 Commando’s Assault Engineers conducted advanced demolition training in Norway at a facility which includes Norway’s state-of-the-art facilities that includes a train and 150ft ship. With an eye toward urban operations, they also conducted CQB training.

“We provide close combat engineering support to 45 Commando’s fighting companies and provide the ability to speedily conduct sabotage and denial of enemy assets (weapon systems, equipment, vehicles and vessels), infrastructure and routes,” said Colour Sergeant Ryan Selbie, of 45 Commando.

“Combat Assault Breachers operating within the Future Commando Force will be a key enabler to mission success.

“As the corps’ method of entry, demolition (sabotage and denial) and counter-explosive ordnance specialists, we bring a unique and invaluable skills set to the FCF small-team construct.

See the full report at www.royalnavy.mod.uk/news-and-latest-activity/news/2020/february/24/200224-arctic-assault-engineers.

US Army Reactivates V Corps

Wednesday, February 12th, 2020

WASHINGTON — The Department of the Army announced today the activation of an additional corps headquarters, called Fifth Corps (V Corps), which will be located at Fort Knox, Ky.

The V Corps Headquarters will consist of approximately 635 soldiers, of which approximately 200 will support an operational command post in Europe on a rotational basis. The Corps Headquarters is projected to be operational by the fall of 2020.

“Combatant commanders know they can count on highly-trained and ready Army forces as they implement the National Defense Strategy around the world,” said Gen. James McConville, Chief of Staff of the Army. “The activation of an additional Corps headquarters provides the needed level of command and control focused on synchronizing U.S. Army, allied, and partner nation tactical formations operating in Europe. It will enhance U.S. Army Europe and U.S. European Command as they work alongside allies and partners to promote regional stability and security.”

The establishment of V Corps enables the Army to fulfill requirements of the National Defense Strategy. It also supports a U.S. European Command request for increased command and control capability, and will support U.S. interests, allies and partners in the region.

The V Corps’ history dates back to 1918, when the unit was activated during World War I during combat in France. Later, it took part in the World War II D-Day invasion and liberation of Europe.

Currently, the Army has three corps headquarters: I Corps, located at Joint Base Lewis- McChord, Washington; III Corps, located at Fort Hood, Texas; and XVIII Airborne Corps, located at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. V Corps will be the Army’s fourth headquarters.