MADISON, Wis. --
As trained members of the United States Air National Guard, we all want to believe that we train like we fight, but what does that really mean?
The Airmen of Madison Wisconsin’s 115th Fighter Wing take the statement, “train like you fight” and exemplify it daily. To them it means to be trained and ready, to be prepared for anything, to complete tasks in a timely manner, while following proper technical data, and to do a quality job, while training up young Airmen to do their jobs skillfully as well.
Deployments and training missions are an opportunity to exhibit the skills and training that the 115th FW expects from all its Airmen as they utilize their knowledge and skillsets and demonstrate their dedication to excellence. Airmen from the 115th FW are currently deployed to Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea for a 4-month rotation as part of a Theater Security Package, which helps to maintain a deterrent against threats to regional security and stability.
"The training that we have been able to do here has allowed us to fly hundreds of hours in support of PACAF objectives, and train up our new pilots and new flight leads to be 100 percent mission qualified, said Lt. Col. Bart T. Van Roo, 176th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron commander and the TSP deployment commander. "We have also been able to assist the new mission qualification pilots of the 8th FW increasing their readiness and experiences, as we have the majority of our pilots qualified as flight instructors."
“This was a great opportunity for us to share our skills and knowledge and help train up the next generation of Air Force pilots to be ready to take the fight north,” said Van Roo. “We are proud to be a part of developing the next generation of leaders in the Air Force and providing an additional squadron of combat power for the 8th FW.”
Just as the 176th FS has taken train like you fight to the next level, many of the 115th FW Airmen deployed with the 176th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Unit have also stepped up. The members of the 176th EAMU are working closely together with 8th Maintenance Group Airmen to complete scheduled and unscheduled maintenance while deployed to Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea.
“The Airmen of the 176th EAMU have come together to overcome the difficulties of operating in a deployed environment,” said Maj. Jason Crabb, 176th EAMU commander. “I have been very pleased with everyone’s performance and particularly impressed by our noncommissioned officers and senior NCOs. The knowledge, skills, and experience this cadre of NCOs and SNCOs possess allows us to successfully meet and overcome any challenge.”
Master Sgt. Aaron Hoff, a 115th FW fuel system specialist and noncommissioned officer in charge of Fuels, of also spoke of the challenges that may be faced with the integration of the Active Duty Airmen with the 115th FW ANG Airmen.
“It’s been a learning curve on how to work together through different processes, but it’s been a good experience as we determined the best way to ensure proper training and that we will have trained and confident Airmen that can meet the needs of the mission,” said Hoff.
“Coordination across multiple shops and shifts can prove a challenge but training here alongside our active duty counterparts is good because we all learn from one another,” said Senior Master Sgt. Troy Kuhl, the 176th EAMU Munitions Element Superintendent.
TSPs are routine deployments of additional fighter squadrons with supporting personnel and equipment to bolster U.S. forces across the Indo-Asia-Pacific region on a rotating basis. TSPs are one of U.S. Pacific Air Forces' contributions to Theater Security Cooperation as the U.S. air component in the region. These deployments are routine and an integral part of U.S. Pacific Command's force posture since March 2004, helping to solidify our relationship with international partners and underscore the United States' commitment to regional security and stability.