By Maj. Anthony Surman
4th Space Control Squadron
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Over the long 4th of July Weekend, many people barbequed, enjoyed time with friends and family and celebrated our great nation’s independence. However, members of the 4th Space Control Squadron had different plans.
The Warhawks relocated 35 tons of equipment over a four-state, 1,000-mile convoy from Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, to Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, in support of the Air Force’s premiere combat training exercise — RED FLAG 16-3.
“Space Control systems and the personnel who employ them will integrate capabilities with the rest of the Combat Air Forces over a three week advanced training event,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Fernengel, 4th SPCS commander. “This series of exercises allows the squadron to exercise robust mission planning, execution, and debrief, along with pre-deployment advanced training objectives, and honing in a spirit of attack that will guarantee success in combat missions”
RED FLAG mission planning began 180 days prior to the start of the exercise and prepares the team to tackle a myriad of obstacles during the three week-long event, to include moving resources, establishing an operating location, and supporting 14 missions and nearly 3,000 aircraft sorties.
“Anytime we mobilize, it takes the combined support of Team Pete, from the Logistics Readiness Squadron, Force Support Squadron, Medical, to Security Forces, to get us out the door.” said Capt. Earl Alejandro, 4th SPCS weapons officer. “This RED FLAG was unique due to the fact that the Army’s 43rd Sustainment Brigade from Fort Carson supported our logistics movement to and from Nellis. Now that the team is in place at Nellis we can focus on mission planning, execution, and debrief to guarantee we employ the right effects at the right time.”
RED FLAG 16-3 offered Warhawks their first advanced training event under the Space Mission Force construct and will directly complement their preparations for potential deployment missions.
“Every game for us is an away game.” said Fernengel. “The space mission force construct clearly identifies the priorities for each squadron member as train, deploy, and reconstitute. We are already seeing a benefit where our mission commanders are really pushing the envelope to maximize the benefits of each phase, whether that means enrolling in Advanced Space Operations School and (Air Education Training Command) courses or planning (temporary duties) to grow our understanding of mission partners and their processes.”
A famous German Ace, Adolf Galland once said that “only the spirit of attack born in a brave heart will bring success to any [weapon system] no matter how highly developed it may be.”
Red Flag captures this spirit of attack and allows Airman to fight against a thinking and dynamic adversary, with winner and losers.
Through rigorous preparation and training, the team of multi-domain Airmen will sharpen their combat edge, capture and maintain space superiority, and contribute to the success of current and future fights.