F-16 Fighting Falcon News

22nd FS participates in Allied Strike 2010

July 29, 2010 (by 1st Lt. Kathleen Polesnak) - The 22nd Fighter Squadron will boast its name, "The Big 22," when it launches two F-16 Fighting Falcons twice a day Aug. 2-5 during Allied Strike 2010.

The 16 22nd FS pilots flying these sorties are part of the approximately 200 military personnel and 24 aircraft from the U.S. and five European nations participating in AS10, which is Europe's premier close air support exercise held annually to conduct robust, realistic CAS training. The training also assists in building partnership capacity among allied NATO nations and joint services that help refine the latest operational CAS tactics.

The Big 22 will focus on air-to-ground and close air support missions, as well as the delivery of live and simulated munitions, including laser-guided bombs, joint direct attack munitions and shooting the jet's 20 mm gun. This exercise will not only provide 22nd FS pilots necessary training for downrange operations, but also help support required flight lead upgrades normally accomplished during routine sorties, said Capt. Dan Schreiber, 22nd FS pilot.

About 80 percent of the 22nd FS pilots slated to participate have never experienced the annual joint exercise before, Captain Schreiber said, including himself.

"I'm looking forward to getting some realistic training with the scenarios they have available at the ranges," he said. "It's realistic training we couldn't receive to that level outside of this exercise."

AS10 is essential to the 22nd FS namely because it focuses on CAS, the squadron's primary mission while deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom missions.

Having the 22nd FS involved in AS10 is beneficial to all servicemembers involved in the exercise, especially for NATO joint terminal attack controllers and fellow pilots, Capt. Schreiber added.

"It helps to integrate both sides," the captain said. "It's the JTACs talking to the pilots, the pilots talking to the JTACs - whether (the pilots) are Brits, Germans, Belgians, it helps JTACs deal with foreign countries and highlight some of the differences and smooth over the entire process."

Courtesy of 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs

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