News Search

148th ASOS participates in total force exercise

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Culeen Shaffer
  • 193rd Special Operations Wing

Along with training alongside fellow Airmen at the same base and in the same shops, more widespread realistic training is also a vital piece in remaining mission ready and operational.

Eight Airmen from the 148th Air Support Operations Squadron, attached to the 193rd Special Operations Wing here, had the opportunity to do such training Oct. 24-Nov. 4, 2017, at the Mississippi Air National Guard’s Combat Readiness Training Center in Gulfport, Mississippi.

“Southern Strike enables ANG Tactical Air Control Party and Joint Terminal Attack Controllers to train in a realistic combat environment,” said Master Sgt. Brent Beckner, 148th ASOS training manager.

The 148th ASOS participated in Exercise Southern Strike for the second year in a row. It is a total force multi-service training exercise, emphasizing air-to-air, air-to-ground and special operations forces training opportunities.

Beckner said, “The majority of the close air support assets are dedicated to the Air National Guard JTACs and allows controllers to maintain a multi-aircraft stack during 2-3 hour long scenarios while bringing synergistic effects to the battlefield.”

Tech. Sgt. Matthew Spitler, 148th ASOS JTAC, said the opportunity to bring so many assets together and to move around was dynamic.

Southern Strike was an opportunity for Spitler to not only participate, but also instruct newer JTACs.

The 148th conventionally supports the 56th Striker Brigade Combat Team and the 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, both of which are Pennsylvania Army National Guard units. Southern Strike allowed them to get insight into incorporating CAS into the special operations forces scheme of maneuver.

The JTACs were broken into two teams, Beckner said. “One team was working the CAS Full Mission Profiles while the other trained alongside 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, as a Foreign Internal Defense force. Those who worked with 3rd SFG concentrated on advanced weapons training, breaching, fast-roping, small unit tactics as well as their own full mission profile scenarios."

Training in a realistic joint environment allows the 148th Airmen to succeed in getting the mission done when called upon.