F-16 Fighting Falcon News

64th AGRS - Tactics, dog fights & dissimilar training

September 23, 2008 (by A1C Jarrod R. Chavana) - Langley pilots faced a new adversary during dog fights the past two weeks.

Capt. David Kierein, 64th AGRS pilot, hands his helmet bag to A1C. Leland Mullenax, 57th AMXS crew chief, after a training exercise held on September 17th, 2008. Members of the 57th AMXS provided maintenance for the 64th AGRS. The 64th AGRS was here to provide dissimilar aircraft training to Langley pilots. [USAF photo by TSgt. April Wickes]

Testing their long-range radar, air-to-air combat drills, mission tactics, barrel rolls, and lessons learned, the 1st and 192nd Fighter Wings pilots faced off against the 64th Aggressor Squadron fighter pilots from Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.

The 64th AGRS, which prepares the Combat Air Force, joint and allied aircrews for tomorrow's victories with challenging and realistic threat replication, training, academics and feedback, visited Langley Sept. 8-19.

"Every day when we fight each other, half the pilots have to simulate the threat country, while the other half train in our own tactics," said Capt. Chuck Schuck, 27th Fighter Squadron. "This reduces the amount of training we have in combat, because half the time we are simulating threat country tactics."

The visiting AGRS F-16s allowed Langley pilots to go against a foe experienced in adversarial tactics.

"The 64th AGRS are not looking to start a war with any country in particular nor are we replicating any specific country, but we are simulating that technology so our CAF brothers have the best training in the world," said Capt. Robert "Pipes" Stimpson, 64th Aggressors F-16 Viper fighter pilot.

"One such technology is the ALQ-188 or advanced electronic attack pod, which jams jets radars," said Captain Stimpson. "When traveling at 1,000 miles per hour, seconds matter."

Training capabilities are enhanced by adding technology that can confuse the pilot's radar, said Captain Stimpson.

"One of our training days included beyond-visual-range engagements," said Captain Schuck. " We practice being able to kill the enemy without having to see him."

"The 64th Aggressors could not visually see us and we couldn't see them, " said Captain Schuck. "The plane's sensors see (the enemy), the missiles you're shooting see (the enemy). That's how the U.S. typically fights."

During the visit, the Aggressors gave Langley fighter squadrons something to assimilate shooting in the sky along with academic briefings.

"This keeps them up to date on threats currently out there," said Captain Stimpson. "We roughly spend 80 percent of our time looking in depth at adversary aircrafts and tactics. "

The Aggressors bring that knowledge about enemy weapons, technology and tactics so units are ready for any adversary.

"The United States doesn't really dog fight," said Captain Stimpson. "We prefer to kill the enemy before they ever see or detect us."

Courtesy of 1st Fighter Wing/Public Affairs

Additional images:

Lt. Col. Brian Delamater, 64th AGRS pilot, gets out of his F-16 after a training exercise held on September 17th, 2008. The 64th AGRS from Nellis AFB, was here to provide dissimilar aircraft training to Langley pilots. [USAF photo by TSgt. April Wickes]

64th AS 2004 version. [Jon Somerville collection]