Airmen from the 37th Airlift Squadron participated in Volfa 15-1, an annual, multilateral training event led by the French air force Jan. 21 at Orleans-Bricy Air Base, France.
The exercise increases the interoperability of airlift squadrons within NATO and tests entry forces’ actions in high-level electronic warfare. The exercise is one of the ways Airmen can stay ready, develop partnerships and hone their ability to respond anywhere at any time.
“The exercise is kind of like a test laboratory for our operations,” said Maj. David Lanan, Personnel Exchange Program exchange officer. “If we had to work together against a common enemy, how would that be done and would we be able to do it, or are there changes that multiple sides have to make to our operations to ensure we fit well as one cohesive force in the future?”
Lanan hoped that this exercise could help answer those questions. The French 261st Tactical Airlift Squadron hosted the 37th AS at Bricy. There, U.S. Airmen met Lanan, who is on loan and part of the 261st TAS and helped coordinate the events.
“The French are one of our closest allies, so keeping that partnership alive and capable of reacting to future threats feels very important, and I happen to have the ability to do that on a daily basis,” Lanan said.
Lanan helped coordinate a tour of the U.S. C-130J Super Hercules for French airmen as well as a mission featuring a low-level simulated drop. Ramstein Airmen also had a chance to learn and speak with the French squadron leadership.
“Volfa is important, because we learn to interoperate with other countries and other aircraft,” said French air force Maj. Nicolas Geranton, 261st Tactical Airlift Squadron formal training and evaluations chief. “It’s not often that we get to train together. By training together, we will be ready to do the mission together.”
The 37th AS visit to Bricy is just one part of Volfa 15-1 and is one of the ways U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa continue their dedication to supporting NATO operations.
“Reassurance is not only the force but the speed,” said Gen. Frank Gorenc, USAFE-AFAFRICA commander. “That’s why ‘Forward, Ready, Now!’ is such an important concept … we are the immediate response people.”
While the flight was a daytime low-level simulated drop, other Airmen will be conducting more day and night flights while performing simulated air drops and personnel recovery training with NATO allies as Volfa 15-1 continues during the next few weeks.