Military News

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

820th BDG teams with RAF, French for exercise GLOBAL EAGLE

by Senior Airman Ryan Callaghan
23d Wing Public Affairs

11/17/2015 - AVON PARK AIR FORCE RANGE, Fla. -- The 822d Base Defense Squadron, the No. 15 Squadron Royal Air Force Regiment and the French air force wrapped up exercise GLOBAL EAGLE after three weeks of training, here Oct. 16 to Nov. 6.

GLOBAL EAGLE is an annual joint exercise that brings one of the three squadrons from the 820th Base Defense Group and the Royal Air Force Regiment together to exchange tactics, techniques and procedures. Every even year it is held in the United Kingdom and the odd years it is held in the United States. This year, it also included the French air force.

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Carl Hook, 822d BDS squad leader, is one of more than 100 people participating in GLOBAL EAGLE this year.

"We're showcasing the different capabilities that we have," said Hook. "The French showcased some of their special operations personnel along with their (Tactical Air Control Party,) the Royal Air Force showcased a live-fire scenario and we just finished showcasing our capabilities.

After a few hours in the sun on Avon Park's north tactical range, Hook and the rest of his fireteam finished demonstrating how they would clear an airstrip of enemy combatants, utilizing dismounted tactics, a military working dog team and a small unmanned aircraft system for reconnaissance.

"We share tools, tactics and procedures and build camaraderie," Hook added. "There's a good chance for future missions downrange where we could be working with them, so it's a great opportunity to talk about all that. I feel very fortunate to be out here and I know a lot of our guys do too."

One of those guys is Airman 1st Class Jordan Cummings, a member of Hook's fireteam from the 822nd BDS.

"We're down here to put together all of our different training so that we can integrate it into our own operations," Cummings said, dripping with sweat and rainwater courtesy of the temperamental Florida weather.

In addition to dismounted operations, GLOBAL EAGLE also included land navigation, counter-improvised explosive device training, combatives, tactical combat casualty care, a sniper team competition and emergency close air support (ECAS) procedures.

Senior Aircraftsman Ben Wood, 15 Squadron RAF Regiment, explained the value of learning how to communicate with pilots to coordinate close air support.

"It's good because we don't get to do anything like that back in the UK," Wood said. "It's more for the forward air controllers and the TACPs. (This training) is good for us (in case) we do ever need it. The day before we were on close quarters battle training, clearing out these buildings here. I've done it before but it's good to come out here mixed in with the Americans and French, it's nice to see new faces when you're doing that.

"It's good to get used to the other nations because obviously we'll be working together on operations," Wood added. "It's nice to get a feel with how other nations train and things like that. It's just honing our own skills and drills so the more training we get, the better we get ... so any training is welcome."

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