NJ Air National Guardsmen train at Operation Kriegshammer
By Tech. Sgt. Matt Hecht, 177th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published July 25, 2014
GRAFENWOEHR, Germany -- In the hills of the Grafenwoehr Training Area, Bavaria, Germany, Airmen from the New Jersey Air National Guard's 177th Security Forces Squadron (SFS) received training on emergency close air support (ECAS) on July 16, 2014.
The ECAS scenarios were developed by the tactical air control party (TACP) Airmen from the 227th Air Support Operations Squadron (ASOS) as part of Operation Kriegshammer.
Using maps and compasses, the security forces Airmen plotted their location as well as potential target areas.
"This stuff is awesome," said Master Sgt. Walter Kienzle, a security forces combat arms, training, and maintenance specialist.
"We don't get to use maps like this out in the field very often, and it's a perishable skill so this has been a great refresher," said Kienzle.
Airman 1st Class David Denesha, a tactical air control party airman from the 227th ASOS, observed and assisted with the map and compass training.
"It's important to know basic map reading skills in case our global positioning system devices have batteries that give out," said Denesha.
"No one in security forces expects to have to jump on the radio to talk with aircraft, but it has happened," said Senior Master Sgt. John Sacchetti, 177th SFS operations superintendent. "Being able to communicate with aircraft is an incredibly valuable training opportunity."
The Grafenwoehr Training Area, with over 83 square miles of ranges, provided an ideal location for ECAS training.
U.S. Air Force F-16C Fighting Falcons, German air force Tornadoes, and French air force Mirage 2000s came on station to provide close air support.
"It was a rush talking to the German pilots," said Master Sgt. Stan Carroll, from the 177th SFS. "The key was being calm on the radio, and enunciating for the foreign pilots."
"Grafenwoehr has been a great experience for us," said Sacchetti. "The TACP have shown us what they do with ECAS, and we will be showing them how we handle active shooter situations and preform small unit tactics. As far as joint training goes, it does not get any better than this."