Weather Airmen take to the field

  • Published
  • Detachment 4, 18th Weather Squadron
Members of the 15th Operational Weather Squadron and the 18th Weather Squadron recently convened on Fort Campbell, Kentucky, for a five-day field training exercise. 

Airmen traveled from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Fort Polk, Louisiana, Fort Drum, New York, and Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, to participate in the training event, which was the first planned, hosted and executed by the 18th WS, Detachment 4, in many years. 

"We began logistical and tactical planning process five months in advance," said Senior Master Sgt. Eric Allen, the superintendent of the 18th WS, Det.  4. "Their cadre were responsible for building scenarios and establishing the milestones leading up to the main exercise."
The 41 Airmen in attendance were tested on their ability to deploy on short notice and execute their primary mission of providing weather support to the U.S. Army.

"The exercise also provided an opportunity to certify members on required combat mission ready tasks," said Allen. "Scenarios placed Airmen in austere tactical settings that at times, pushed members outside of their comfort zone and offered opportunities for them to excel." 

Among the tasks completed were building and tearing down tents, night and day land navigation, medical care, convoy operations, night driving with night vision goggles, and tactical movements.

Thanks to the 101st Airborne Division's Air Assault School, Airmen were also treated to a sample of the division's mission with a half-day fast rope insertion and extraction training event, which focused on weather effects on Air Assault invasions. 

In the end, the testbed event was a major success and paved the path for future training events. 

"We hope to have future training exercise on broadening experience levels by incorporating mountain warfare training at Fort Drum and airborne operations at Fort Bragg, a major plus for Airmen supporting various Army contingency missions around the globe," said Allen.