Silver Flag trains Airmen, builds partnerships

by Senior Airman Rion Ehrman
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The 435th Construction and Training Squadron hosted a weeklong Silver Flag exercise Aug. 20 to 26 on Ramstein.

Silver Flag’s main goal is to train Airmen for contingency deployments and assist in building partnership capacities by training allied partners to set up a base from the ground up, dealing with the issues that arise in a deployed environment.

This particular exercise featured three Azerbaijanis and two Bulgarians who attended to gain knowledge of U.S. Air Force processes during deployment operations.

“The purpose of our visit was to get some know-ledge (on Air Force deployment procedures),” said Maj. Ramil Hasanov, Azerbaijani deputy infantry battalion commander. “Back home we have our exercise, and we are going to exchange knowledge about what we learned here. In our country, we will have NATO examination, and we have some gaps and we need to learn from (Airmen).”

Whether it was security detail for the simulated runway and explosive ordnance operations, fire safety training or the entire setup of a bare base with needed tents, Azerbaijani and Bulgarian counterparts, along with more than 140 Airmen, gained first-hand knowledge to take back to their home stations.

“The main point of this is teamwork,” Hasanov said. “What I saw is if someone doesn’t know something, someone is there to help them.”

Airmen put forth their skills in a combined effort to illustrate their readiness for whatever was thrown in their path during the ever-growing demand for being ready to accomplish the mission, especially during a deployment.

“We’re all ultimately going to leave with honed war fighting skills that will help us downrange or during any other conflict,” said Staff Sgt. Patrick Riele, a member of the 49th Civil Engineer Squadron from Holloman Air Force Base, N.M.

The training consisted of five days in a classroom where they covered how basic contingency operations are set up in an area of responsibility, chemical warfare and mission oriented protective postures.

The last two days were spent in a field training environment.

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