News Search

Ohio and Indiana Air National Guard team up

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Joseph Harwood
  • Tech. Sgt. Joseph Harwood
The need for aircrew combat survival refresher training has been around for as long as the Air Force has been flying aircraft, yet this weekend something noticeably different was happening in the woods of north central Ohio.

Last year, the previous Operations Group commander of the 179th Airlift Wing, Col. Mark Auer, introduced a new element to the reoccurring ground survival training, saying, "I had the opportunity to hear Secretary James discuss the need to embrace diversity of thought," Auer added, "That encouraged us to look for innovative ways to conduct reoccurring training. We knew Battlefield Airmen in Tactical Control Air Party units possessed finely honed land navigation, tactical movement and survival skills. And since TACP's attend the same basic survival course as aircrew, we knew they could speak the same language and our aircrew would benefit from their recent ground combat experience. We were all anxious to see what could be achieved by combining Mobility Air Forces aircrew and Aircrew Flight Equipment personnel with Battlefield Airman from the Combat Air Forces."

The training was a tremendous success. Auer moved on to command the 121st Air Refueling Wing this year while Lt. Col. David B. Johnson has taken command of the 179th Operations Group. Johnson invited members of the 113th Air Support Operations Squadron (ASOS), of the 181st Intelligence Wing, Terre Haute, IN. to participate in the training.

"Having the TACPs work to enhance our field skill instruction and play the role of aggressors elevated the training to a whole new level", said Tech. Sgt. William Hamilton, who took lead on organizing the training and whose family hosted the event on their property near Butler.

The Ohio Airmen received valuable training on land navigation; shelter building, fire craft, food and water collection, camouflage and concealment, signaling and evasion techniques. This type of refresher training aims to enhance the survivability and combat readiness of aircrew.

"I have seen a lot of Combat Survival Training in my career and this is as good as anything I have ever seen," said Capt. Ryan McMaster, an Intelligence Officer with the 179th OSS, who started his career as an AFE technician.

The training has proven to be beneficial for both the aircrew and the TACPs. This relationship strengthens airmen of the Air National Guard to be exactly what they exist to be, always ready!