JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska – Agile Fight Employment is likely one of the most talked-about ideas within the Air Power. The flexibility to quickly deploy and set up ahead working areas, manned by multi-capable Airmen, is the best way the Air Power is crafting the way forward for warfare.
The Airmen of the twenty fourth Particular Operations Wing, Detachment 1, also referred to as Deployment Cell or “D-Cell,” have been doing simply this for over 60 years.
The unit, primarily based out of MacDill Air Power Base, Florida, consists of 54 members throughout 15 profession fields, forming 4 agile groups. These groups of multi-capable Airmen are skilled in 49 cross-functional duties together with Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape coaching, superior capturing, and superior fight casualty care.
The first position of D-Cell is to “naked base,” which is to quickly flip undeveloped areas into absolutely practical bases.
“The distinctive factor about us is that we have now small groups that may go anyplace,” stated Grasp Sgt. Nathan Johnson, a logistics superintendent and D-Cell Bravo Flight lead. “And since we will do different jobs, we will arrange a naked base extraordinarily quick, extraordinarily effectively.”
Attributable to working in such gentle and agile groups, being multi-capable Airmen is crucial for mission success.
“Most of our Airmen are at – and I can say this comfortably – at in all probability a three-level in one another’s profession fields, and a few even a five-level,” stated Grasp Sgt. Sammy Bridges, safety forces superintendent and D-Cell Delta Flight lead.
“If I fall out, the subsequent man on my crew, though he is perhaps an influence [production] man engaged on a generator, or he is perhaps a companies man, guess what? He can nonetheless add an plane,” added Employees Sgt. Jonathan Webb, an air transportation craftsman. “That [multi-capable Airman] idea is greater than what you assume it’s.”
With their visibilities shifting in the direction of future areas of operation, the unit visited Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER), Alaska, Jan. 6 by way of 10, 2023, to check their working capabilities in extreme-cold climate environments.
“We’re out right here to see if we will validate the Arctic aspect of what we have now to do,” defined Johnson. “We have been in a sure a part of the world for a very long time, and mindsets are altering over the place we might go. That is so we will check what we have been doing because the ’60s in a chilly setting.”
The crew spent their time in Alaska working out of Camp Mad Bull, a coaching space on JBER designed to supply practical austere working situations to check unit capabilities.
“You are used to constructing and being at completely different areas for the previous 20 years, the place the entire [Department of Defense] has been, proper?” stated Johnson. “So now you come up right here in a unique setting, and it’s a must to check your self in that sense it is zero levels right here versus the place you are used to constructing in 90 levels [weather].”
Over the week, D-Cell labored on troop motion in excessive chilly and deep snow, tent building, and evening operations, all of which culminated right into a simulated fight situation.
The Airmen additionally spent two days working with the Alaska Nationwide Guard’s 2nd Battalion, 211th Aviation Regiment. At some point was spent in a classroom with the regiment’s medevac unit, the place they realized cold-weather particular tactical fight casualty care. The aviators additionally supported the coaching’s last fight situation, offering medevacs to the simulated fight’s casualties.
“We have finished medical coaching, [tactical combat casualty care] and issues of that nature… now we’re getting data from the Troopers up right here, who do issues within the mountains and Arctic setting,” stated Webb. “Pulling that data of the way you deal with hypothermia, the way you deal with frostbite …. versus what we handled the previous 20 years in a unique [area of responsibility].”
“It wasn’t even essentially the Arctic chilly climate coaching, but it surely was the questions, the back-and-forth of it,” he continued. “You possibly can learn a e-book on all of it day lengthy, however in case you’re speaking to the creator, you will get these little particulars. It is good to have that perception.”
After the coaching wrapped up, the crew ready to go away the sub-zero temperatures of Alaska and return to the nice and cozy seashores of Florida – bringing again a brand new set of expertise and validated capabilities.
“As leads, not solely have been we fascinated with the precise construct and the mission,” stated Johnson. “From my perspective, it’s concerning the personalities and the camaraderie. If you put folks in an austere location in a nerve-racking state of affairs, whether or not or not it’s from exterior climate or threats, how can these folks come collectively and work as a crew and react? It has been an superior expertise collectively.”