JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. –
Joint Base Charleston, S.C. – Airmen assigned to the 15th Airlift Squadron executed several Air Force Force Generation force element certification events throughout the Pacific Nov. 30 - Dec. 8, reinforcing Air Mobility Command’s rapid global mobility capabilities.
Designed to prepare multi-capable Airmen for upcoming deployments and the future fight, this AFFORGEN certification event consisted of flying without GPS capabilities, performing airdrops, and conducting maintenance with a limited crew and minimal equipment.
Airmen also proved a new capability for the C-17 Globemaster III, performing a cold-to-cold, aircraft-to-aircraft ground refuel to a B-2 Spirit for the first time in history.
“We’ve been tasked to go into the Indo-Pacific Command theater of operations and explore new tactics and how to employ them,” said Capt. Royce Schertz, 15th AS weapons and tactics officer.
Intelligence personnel, as well as survival, evasion, resistance, and escape, or SERE, specialists from the 437th Operations Support Squadron conducted training to give Airmen a better understanding of what conflict with a peer competitor might look like.
“The intent is teaching more advanced techniques and procedures to the masses,” Schertz said. “We are upping the ante and performing better at the lowest common denominator to be ready for that future fight.”
The training challenged maintenance Airmen, to keep the C-17 flying even with limited resources and manning.
“We tested our capabilities and took some risks by taking less people and equipment than we normally would,” said Senior Master Sgt. Sean Preckl, the Maintenance Superintendent assigned to the 437th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. “This trip validated how our maintenance practices at home station directly impact performance on the road. Our partners in this force element redefined several critical tactics, techniques, and procedures for the Pacific.”
This certification process tested the skills of both pilots and aircrew at a high tempo, to accomplish a mission that simulated a real-world INDOPACOM scenario.
“The point of this training is to provide confidence and instruction so that we can continue to be the number one Air Force in the world,” Schertz said.
The 15th AS is scheduled for its first AFFORGEN force element deployment in the Spring of 2023.