LARISSA AIR BASE, Greece — The 37th Airlift Squadron assigned to Ramstein Air Base, provided airlift support via a C-130J Super Hercules during Operation Castle Forge at Larissa Air Base, Greece, Oct. 15.
Castle Forge is a USAFE-AFAFRICA-led joint, multinational exercise supported by two unique prongs: F-15E Strike Eagle training based in Larissa, Greece, and a major command-wide Agile Combat Employment Initial Operating Capability event with USAFE-AFAFRICA’s eight wings.
Both pieces of Castle Forge provide a dynamic, joint partnership-focused environment, affirming U.S. commitment to NATO allies and security in the Black Sea region while increasing partnership capacity alongside Bulgarian, Hellenic and Romanian air force counterparts.
“Ramstein Air Base serves as host to both USAFE-AFAFRICA staff teams and 86th Airlift Wing teams responsible for planning Castle Forge,” U.S. Air Force Major Clayton Martin, 37 AS evaluator pilot, said. “It is also home to the 37th AS, which is USAFE’s only dedicated tactical airlift squadron and is responsible for a significant amount of the airlift support necessary to make the exercise a success.”
Exercising elements of ACE enables U.S. forces in Europe to operate from locations with varying levels of capacity and support, ensuring Airmen and aircrews are postured to deliver lethal combat power across the spectrum of military operations.
“Castle Forge is a ‘capstone’ exercise of sorts,” Martin said. “This operation will allow for immediate lessons learned that will inform how the U.S. Air Force executes ACE and will help the U.S. and its NATO allies and regional partners improve how we put ACE into practice outside of a controlled environment.”
ACE has become central to how the U.S. engages with its NATO allies and regional partners to strengthen interoperability.
Ramstein AB is the Global Gateway and the logistical hub of USAFE. Through the 37 AS, Ramstein can rapidly deploy airlift support across the area of responsibility.
Martin said: “In addition to supporting Castle Forge, the 37th AS continues to support operational missions across Europe and Africa.”