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Spangdahlem hosts USAFE large force exercise

Spangdahlem hosts USAFE large force exercise

U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Russel Blair, 480th Fighter Squadron F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot, flies alongside the port wing of Capt. Dominic Collins, 480th FS pilot, above Germany, July 1, 2020. The F-16 is capable of integrating with multiple platforms, this ability was demonstrated in a U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa large force exercise that members of the 480th FS participated in earlier that day. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kyle Cope)

Spangdahlem hosts USAFE large force exercise

A C-130J Super Hercules aircraft takes off from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, July 1, 2020. Several wings from U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa command participated in a large force exercise over Germany. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Taylor Slater)

Spangdahlem hosts USAFE large force exercise

A C-130J Super Hercules aircraft rests on the flightline at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, July 1, 2020. Members of the 37th Airlift Squadron participated in a large force exercise ensuring to aircrew and support personnel maintain force readiness. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Taylor Slater)

Spangdahlem hosts USAFE large force exercise

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Brian Clark, 37th Airlift Squadron loadmaster, performs a flight safety check before takeoff at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, July 1, 2020. Bases across Europe recently participated in a large force exercise to enhance combat readiness and increase tactical proficiency. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Taylor Slater)

Spangdahlem hosts USAFE large force exercise

A weapons system officer assigned to the 494th Fighter Squadron enters the cockpit of an F-15E Strike Eagle during a large force exercise at Royal Air Force Mildenhall, England, July 1, 2020. Large force exercises sharpen combat readiness, increase tactical proficiency and maintain a ready force capable of ensuring the collective defense of the NATO alliance. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christopher S. Sparks)

Spangdahlem hosts USAFE large force exercise

Four F-15E Strike Eagles assigned to the 48th Fighter Wing taxi in preparation for takeoff during a large force exercise at Royal Air Force Mildenhall, England, July 1, 2020. Large force exercises sharpen combat readiness, increase tactical proficiency and maintain a ready force capable of ensuring the collective defense of the NATO alliance. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christopher S. Sparks)

Spangdahlem hosts USAFE large force exercise

An Airman assigned to the 494th Fighter Squadron conducts pre-flight checks during a large force exercise at Royal Air Force Mildenhall, England, July 1, 2020. Large force exercises sharpen combat readiness, increase tactical proficiency and maintain a ready force capable of ensuring the collective defense of the NATO alliance. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christopher S. Sparks)

Spangdahlem hosts USAFE large force exercise

Two Airmen assigned to the 494th Fighter Squadron conduct pre-flight checks during a large force exercise at Royal Air Force Mildenhall, England, July 1, 2020. Large force exercises sharpen combat readiness, increase tactical proficiency and maintain a ready force capable of ensuring the collective defense of the NATO alliance. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christopher S. Sparks)

Spangdahlem hosts USAFE large force exercise

An F-15E Strike Eagle assigned to the 494th Fighter Squadron takes off from Royal Air Force Mildenhall, England, in support of a large force exercise July 1, 2020. Large force exercises sharpen combat readiness, increase tactical proficiency and maintain a ready force capable of ensuring the collective defense of the NATO alliance. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christopher S. Sparks)

Spangdahlem hosts USAFE large force exercise
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An F-15E Strike Eagle assigned to the 494th Fighter Squadron takes off from Royal Air Force Mildenhall, England, in support of a large force exercise July 1, 2020. Large force exercises sharpen combat readiness, increase tactical proficiency and maintain a ready force capable of ensuring the collective defense of the NATO alliance. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christopher S. Sparks)

Spangdahlem hosts USAFE large force exercise
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An F-15E Strike Eagle assigned to the 494th Fighter Squadron takes off from Royal Air Force Mildenhall, England, in support of a large force exercise July 1, 2020. Large force exercises sharpen combat readiness, increase tactical proficiency and maintain a ready force capable of ensuring the collective defense of the NATO alliance. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christopher S. Sparks)

Spangdahlem hosts USAFE large force exercise
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U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Russel Blair, 480th Fighter Squadron F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot, flies alongside the port wing of Capt. Dominic Collins, 480th FS pilot, above Germany, July 1, 2020. The F-16 is capable of integrating with multiple platforms, this ability was demonstrated in a U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa large force exercise that members of the 480th FS participated in earlier that day. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kyle Cope)

Spangdahlem hosts USAFE large force exercise
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U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Russel Blair, 480th Fighter Squadron F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot, climbs in the skies above Germany, July 1, 2020. Blair was one of 10 pilots who flew in a training sortie after other members of the 480th FS participated in a U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa large force exercise earlier that day. The LFE focused on integrated suppression of enemy air defense, which, as the only SEAD unit in Europe, is the primary mission of the 480th FS. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kyle Cope)

Spangdahlem hosts USAFE large force exercise
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A U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle, assigned to the 48th Fighter Wing, prepares to receive fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker, assigned to the 100th Air Refueling Wing, during a Large Force Exercise over Germany, July 1, 2020. During the LFE, aircrew objectives included defensive counters and suppression of enemy air defenses missions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Benjamin Cooper)

Spangdahlem hosts USAFE large force exercise
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Three U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles, assigned to the 48th Fighter Wing, fly alongside and behind a KC-135 Stratotanker, assigned to the 100th Air Refueling Wing, during a Large Force Exercise over Germany, July 1, 2020. During the LFE, aircrew trained in a centralized location allowing the pairing of multiple fourth generation platforms together to increase interoperability and maximize capabilities of participating aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Benjamin Cooper)

Spangdahlem hosts USAFE large force exercise
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A U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle, assigned to the 48th Fighter Wing, receives fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker, assigned to the 100th Air Refueling Wing, during a Large Force Exercise over Germany, July 1, 2020. During the LFE, aircrew trained in a centralized location allowing the pairing of multiple fourth generation platforms together to increase interoperability and maximize capabilities of participating aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Benjamin Cooper)

Spangdahlem hosts USAFE large force exercise
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Four U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles, assigned to the 48th Fighter Wing, prepare to takeoff to participate in a Large Force Exercise at RAF Mildenhall, England, July 1, 2020. During the LFE, aircrew conducted Dissimilar Air Combat Training to enhance combat readiness and increase tactical proficiency necessary to maintain a ready force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Benjamin Cooper)

Spangdahlem hosts USAFE large force exercise
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A U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagle, assigned to the 48th Fighter Wing, takes off to participate in a Large Force Exercise at RAF Mildenhall, England, July 1, 2020. During the LFE, aircrew trained in a variety of different airspaces to ensure they have the mindset necessary to engage in the flexible delivery of air power. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Benjamin Cooper)

Spangdahlem hosts USAFE large force exercise
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Airmen assigned to the 100th Air Refueling Wing discuss their pre-flight checklist prior to departing for a Large Force Exercise at RAF Mildenhall, England, July 1, 2020. During the LFE, aircrew conducted Dissimilar Air Combat Training to enhance combat readiness and increase tactical proficiency necessary to maintain a ready force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Benjamin Cooper)

Spangdahlem hosts USAFE large force exercise
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A U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle, assigned to the 48th Fighter Wing, peels away after receiving fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker, assigned to the 100th Air Refueling Wing, during a Large Force Exercise over Germany, July 1, 2020. During the LFE, aircrew trained in a variety of different airspaces to ensure they have the mindset necessary to engage in the flexible delivery of air power. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Benjamin Cooper)

Spangdahlem hosts USAFE large force exercise
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U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Blake Rice, 37th Airlift Squadron loadmaster, performs a flight safety check at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, July 1, 2020. Airmen and aircraft from the 31st Fighter Wing, 48th FW, 52nd FW, 86th Airlift Wing and 100th Air Refueling Wing participated in a large force exercise over Germany. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Taylor Slater)

Spangdahlem hosts USAFE large force exercise
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Crew chiefs from the 86th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Renita Howard, left, speaks with Senior Airman Sarah Maness, right, at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, July 1, 2020. Members of Ramstein recently participated in a large force exercise along with four other U.S. Air Forces in Europe installations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Taylor Slater)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany --

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany – Multiple wings from across U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa participated in a large force exercise hosted by Spangdahlem Air Base over South West Germany, July 1, 2020.

Participating aircraft and units included F-16 Fighting Falcons assigned to the 480th Fighter Squadron here, F-16s assigned to the 510th FS at Aviano AB, Italy, F-15s assigned to the 494th FS at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, U.K., C-130 Hercules assigned to the 37th Airlift Squadron at Ramstein AB, Germany, and KC-135 Stratotankers assigned to the 100th Air Refueling Wing at RAF Mildenhall, U.K.

The exercise focused on aircrew integration of multiple platforms in order to enhance readiness and increase proficiency needed to maintain a ready force to ensure the collective defense of the NATO alliance.

“Airpower employment doesn’t happen by mistake; it takes a team of trained individuals working together,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Patrick Kennedy, 480th FS commander. “These exercises help build the next generation of air-minded warriors. The goal is to provide realistic combat training that can face advanced adversary forces. Exercises provide operationally realistic and highly dynamic scenarios.”

LFEs are regularly conducted in different airspaces to ensure aircrew have the mentality necessary to engage in flexible execution of air power. The 52nd Fighter Wing provided the logistics of this LFE.

“Planning, coordination, and execution of large amounts of aircraft is challenging,” said Kennedy. “However, we have years of experience in the operations, maintenance, and mission-support group that allow these types of exercises to happen. The best way to get good at employing airpower is to employ airpower. This is why USAFE and NATO participate in exercises regularly together and can go well beyond the basics to tackle difficult problem sets.”

 The operation allows for the pairing of multiple fourth-generation platforms together to increase interoperability and maximize capabilities of participating aircraft.

“As a pilot in USAFE’s sole Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses squadron, I particularly value the unique capabilities and advantages each aircraft brings to the fight,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Christian Pisanelli, 480th FS pilot. “Developing a game plan to synergize those capabilities and executing a game plan together is always a remarkable experience.”

In addition to pilots, the exercise helps those on the ground receive training and experience.

“Across the major command, our maintenance squadrons spend countless hours making sure our aircraft are ready to perform the mission,” Kennedy said. “Also, our mission support agencies make sure the airfield is ready for use, the jets are fueled, and our emergency responders are prepared for any contingency.”

Together, the LFE ensures Airmen sharpen their combat readiness and increase tactical proficiency.

“I simply hope to take advantage of the quality tactical training this LFE provides,” said Pisanelli. “It will be a great opportunity to get out of my comfort zone and be placed into a complicated scenario where my skills will be tested.”