by 1st Lt. Alexandra Trobe
65th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
8/7/2015 - LAJES FIELD, Azores, Portugal -- Twelve
A-10 Thunderbolt IIs transited Lajes Field, Azores, Portugal, after
completing their theater security package mission in support of
Operation Atlantic Resolve August 1 though 3.
The jets flew in as part of a coronet, a term Lajes Field uses to
describe the movement of jets coming in, refueling and departing the
The 354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron's 12 A-10's and approximately
300 Airmen conducted training alongside our NATO allies to strengthen
interoperability and to demonstrate U.S. commitment to the security and
stability of Europe. The A-10s and Airmen are returning home to the
355th Fighter Wing, Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.
"This is the first A-10 TSP we've conducted in Europe," said U.S. Air
Force Lt. Col. Ryan Hayde, 354th EFS commander. "This deployment gave us
the ability to train with NATO allies we otherwise would never have had
the opportunity to work with."
While deployed, the 354th EFS participated in 21 exercises, compiling
more than 1,500 sorties and nearly 2,700 flight hours while engaging
with 22 countries.
"The biggest thing about training with our NATO Allies is showing
interoperability," said Hayde. "NATO operates under its own close air
support standards, and as part of this training we were able to conduct
coordination with our allies. This ensures that if we ever have to
deploy with these NATO countries, we're all on the same page."
In their capstone event in Poland, the 354th EFS trained their entire
squadron on unimproved surface landings in conjunction with the 321st
Special Tactics Squadron, RAF Mildenhall and Polish Special Forces.
Combat controllers provide Federal Aviation Administration air traffic
control and communications in covert or austere environments.
This was the first type of training between these two NATO allies.
Without the strategic access provided by the infrastructure, support and
host nation relationships at U.S. and host nation installations, these
TSP deployments would not be possible.
"As my first deployment, it was a great experience getting to work with
different countries, and getting to see how our European allies train
and fight," said Capt. Travis Vayda, 354th EFS scheduler. "This TSP gave
us a chance to see a different way of doing things, and find better
ways to integrate with our allies."
The A-10 TSP redeployment coronet is Vayda's second time at Lajes Field, passing through once before on his way downrange.
"I would definitely say I got the family treatment coming through Lajes," said Vayda.
The Lajes Field flightline is utilized regularly by U.S., Portuguese and
third nation military and commercial aircraft. Due to its strategic
location and as the Air Force's second largest fuel store, the 65th Air
Base Wing is uniquely positioned to provide agile combat support and
services to aircraft and aircrews.
"Our Operations Support Squadron's primary mission is to provide first
class support for the coronets," said Maj. Lindsey Bauer, 65 OSS
operations officer. "It is an exciting mission because it involves
every single one of our shops, teamwork is essential to make it all