Audacious Warrior provides joint training for 115th Airmen

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Cameron Lewis
  • 115th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Since 2017, Explosive Ordnance Disposal technicians from units throughout the Air National Guard have been pushing their skills to the limits during the ever-growing Audacious Warrior Training Exercise held at Fort McCoy and Volk Field Air National Guard Base.


While the annual training has already been considered a huge success, this year’s exercise that took place July 18 – 30, was significantly expanded with the inclusion of Security Forces and Intelligence Airmen.


“This year is the first time an intelligence unit has been involved in Audacious Warrior and we hope to remain a part of it in the future as our skill sets were able to help create real world, near peer scenarios for overseas deployment training,” said U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Rebecca Peterson, an intelligence officer assigned to North Dakota Air National Guard’s 119th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group, Fargo Air National Guard Base, North Dakota. “By providing the most up to date information on what’s going on overseas, the instructors can now create enhanced training scenarios that are aligned with what we are currently seeing in combat environments.”


While EOD remains trained and ready to deploy at a moment’s notice, they must also be trained and prepared to provide EOD capabilities for Defense Support to Civil Authorities missions.


“Being able to work hand-in-hand with Security Forces and local police departments is imperative to the success of our mission,” said U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Gilbert Holcomb, the EOD program manager at the Wisconsin Air National Guard’s 115th Fighter Wing, Truax Field, Madison, Wisconsin. “Having Security Forces join us during Audacious Warrior provides a better understanding of how each unit operates and how we can efficiently support each other.”


Having Volk Field and Fort McCoy in such close proximity allows teams to actively train for both DSCA and deployed operations during the same exercise.


“We simulate a deployed environment and utilize live demolitions at Fort McCoy while others train for Defense Support to Civil Authorities at Volk Field,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Matthew Vandermolen, an EOD technician assigned to the 115th FW.  “Audacious Warrior truly does offer the best training for both aspects of our mission.”