MOHAMED NAQUIB MILITARY BASE, Egypt --
Recently, Airmen from the 82nd Expeditionary Air Support Operations Squadron participated in a multi-nation exercise in Egypt.
Bright Star 18 was a two-week multilateral exercise covering best practices on counterinsurgency, border control, and interoperability in irregular warfare scenarios.
Tactical Air Control Party Airmen from the 82nd EASOS participated in an instructing role, integrating with and mentoring Egyptian, Jordanian, and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia joint terminal attack controllers.
The team of seven Airmen were involved in three portions of the exercise; the combined arms live-fires exercise, field training exercise and situation training exercise with the end goal of teaching how to properly and effectively request U.S. Air Force assets if the need for American air support arises.
“[Exercises like this are important] to demonstrate to our partner nations, our resolve and dedication to enabling their defense of the region,” said U.S. Air Lt. Col. Ulysses Linares, 82nd EASOS director of operations. “Specifically, how the United States TACP integrates and aligns with maneuver land force elements to effectively plan, execute, and assess joint fires.”
A portion of the training took place in the classroom where the instructors discussed appropriate radio etiquette and the correct way to call in air support, with follow-on training in the field to execute those principles.
The partner nations’ controllers then tested their ability to engage targets with air and ground fires while maintaining control of assets and keeping them safe.
“It was a great opportunity to immerse our team and enhance our partners’ capabilities,” added Linares. “The team’s accomplishments were significant because Egyptian armed forces had never before executed a true live fire exercise with both artillery and aircraft operating in the same target areas.”
The 2018 exercise, specifically the first ever successful, non-scripted CALFX in Bright Star’s history, was lauded by Lt. Gen. Joseph Guastella, Combined Forces Air Component Commander.
“JTACs are a crown jewel of air-to-ground operations,” said Guastella. “I am very proud of the 82nd EASOS Airmen who provided the training to help build the capabilities of our partners and enhance regional security.”