EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska -- Airmen assigned to the 3rd Air Support Operations Squadron (3 ASOS) participated in an Arctic Familiarization field exercise at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Oct. 26-28, 2022.
This exercise trained and tested Tactical Air Control Party (TACP) and Special Warfare Mission Support (SWMS) on their ability to perform combat field operations and survive in Alaska’s arctic environment.
“Without SWMS, TACP would not be able to complete the mission efficiently or successfully,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Mychal Hoyt, 3rd ASOS, Operations Flight Chief. “It is not only important for our SWMS personnel to understand what our gear and equipment goes through in any situation but having a solid working relationship with them is just as important. What better way to work that out, than experiencing a little "suck" as one team?”
Prior to field training, subject matter experts within the unit conducted classroom lessons and practical hands-on familiarization with the equipment they would be wearing and utilizing during the training exercise. Specific objectives were broken down into tasks and arranged into a systemic code on a job qualification form to document the arctic specific continuation training.
The training included critical tasks like building an arctic tent, constructing an improvised shelter in the snow, maintaining firearms in a cold weather environment, and preventing cold weather injuries.
Upon completion of the classroom portion of the training, personnel packed up their team’s High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle and received gear checks and safety briefings before departing for their field portion of the training.
During the two-day training event, Cadres ensured the exercise objectives were met while safety remained the top priority, and each member had a proficient level of competency to survive and fight in the harsh environment.
“Any training is good training, and this was no doubt a success,” said Hoyt. “In addition to everyone becoming a little more confident in their ability to endure the harsh environment the Arctic presents, they were also able to identify pros and cons of their processes and the utility of their specific equipment.”
While this exercise was deemed a success, it is just the first of many for the 3rd ASOS to continue building upon the training required to survive and thrive in the harsh Alaskan environment.