November 5, 2010 (by SSgt. R.J. Biermann) - After two weeks of intense training, 309th Fighter Squadron and 309th Aircraft Maintenance Unit personnel and F-16 Fighting Falcons recently returned from an exercise at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho.
USAF F-16D block 42 #89-2157 from the 309th FS takes off during Mountain Roundup on October 21st, 2010. Mountain Roundup is a large-force exercise running between Oct. 12 through Oct. 29 that includes participants from the German air force and USAF, USN and USMC. [USAF photo by SrA. Renishia Richardson]
The 309th deployed 110 operations and maintenance personnel and nine F-16s to participate in Exercise Mountain Roundup from Oct. 13 to 29 in support of the German air force, GR-1 Tornado Fighter Weapons Instructor Course.
"The German air force trains their GR-1 weapons instructors at Holloman AFB
, N.M., similar to the U.S. Air Force Weapons School at Nellis AFB, Nev.," said Maj. James Govin, 309th FS
assistant director of operations. "The culmination of their training is Exercise Mountain Roundup."
The exercise is a two-week-long evaluation consisting of large force exercises in the Mountain Home Range Complex. This complex, much like Luke Air Force Base's own Barry M. Goldwater Range, is a 122,000 acre range (7,400 square miles of airspace) used for pilot training, according to Major Govin.
The two-week temporary duty occurred between B-course classes.
"It was a great chance for the instructors of the 309th to refresh their tactical skills and train against dissimilar aircraft at a 'deployed' location," Major Govin said. "The maintenance personnel were able to gain experience working at this location. And, for some maintainers, this was their first TDY."
The 309th flew missions every morning and afternoon, and also shared the task of replicating adversary aircraft tactics. The 309th also flew incentive and familiarization sorties for TDY personnel to award outstanding performance and familiarize them with F-16 operations.
"The orientation sorties are an invaluable tool for demonstrating the end result of the fine work of many individuals involved in completing an F-16 mission," Major Govin said. "Overall, the TDY was a great training opportunity for the members of the 309th FS and AMU."
The year's exercise included other U.S. military aircraft, such as the Marine F-18A, Navy EA-18G and EA-6B, and Air Force F-15Es, B-52s and RC-135s.