435th CRG demonstrates strike package support concept

by Staff Sgt. Jimmie D. Pike
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jayson Lyons, 435th Contingency Response Squadron Operations, Readiness, and Training Flight chief, briefs Airmen on operations and safety for exercise Temperate Ace on Ramstein Air Base, Oct. 4. During the exercise, Airmen performed a “hot refuel” where an aircraft is refueled while the engines run to demonstrate the ability to support strike packages with the least amount of equipment and personnel. — Photo by Staff Sgt. Jimmie D. Pike

At any moment, in the modern dynamic warfighting environment, anything can happen; and the U.S. Air Force knows flexibility is the key to airpower. This flexibility is forged by Airmen through constant innovation and training.

An F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft is “hot refueled” on Ramstein Air Base, Oct. 4. A hot refuel is conducted while the engines of an aircraft are still running. The 435th Air Ground Operations Wing led Temperate Ace, a proof-of-concept exercise demonstrating strike force capabilities. — Photo by Airman 1st Class Noah D. Coger

Airmen assigned to the 435th Contingency Response Group conducted a proof-of-concept exercise at Ramstein Air Base, Oct. 4,  to showcase this ability.

“The 435th Contingency Response Squadron was exercising the ability to generate strike package support utilizing the bare minimum equipment and personnel required,” said Tech. Sgt. Jayson Lyons, 435th CRS Operations, Readiness, and Training Flight chief. “We were also proving the ‘hybrid Airman’ concept that Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force (Kaleth O.) Wright briefed, to conduct arming and dearming, refueling, and cargo movement in a simulated combat environment.”

On the ground, one of the focus points of the exercise was completing a hot refuel of two F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft.

“A ‘hot refuel’ is when you refuel an aircraft with one or more engines of the aircraft operating,” said Lyons. “It provides the least amount of personnel and equipment needs and can reduce aircraft regeneration time up to 70 percent.”

Hot refuels are especially important when there may be an imminent threat in the area, explained Lyons.

Along with the 435th CRG, 15 agencies participated in the exercise to demonstrate Airmen’s ability to support strike packages at a moment’s notice in austere locations. Among the 15 agencies were the 86th Airlift Wing providing the airfield and support, the 52 Fighter Wing providing the fighter aircraft, and the 435th Air Ground Operations Wing providing manpower and oversight.

“At the 435th CRG we believe that in order to ensure the peace we need to be prepared for war,” said Col. Jason Terry, 435th CRG commander. “This exercise is about demonstrating our ability to jump into a field, secure the field, assess it, bring the aircraft in and do what we do. It’s all part of the bigger overall mission of the 435th Air Ground Operations Wing to deliver bombs, com(munication)s, and airfields on demand.”