Thursday, July 24, 2014

TOP STORY >> 34th Combat Training Squadron proves the importance of partnership

By Airman 1st Class Harry Brexel
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

No battle can be won without combat-ready troops. This is why the mission at the 34th Combat Training Squadron, at Little Rock Air Force Base, is so vital.

The mission of the 34th CTS is to provide tailored joint mobility training to produce combat-ready Airmen and Soldiers. For the squadron to effectively focus on joint training, 34th CTS Airmen venture outside the gates of Little Rock AFB.  

Select Airmen from the 34th CTS actively work alongside Soldiers.

“The 34th CTS air mobility liaison officers must integrate themselves with Soldiers,” said Lt. Col. Steve Smith, 34th Combat Training Squadron commander.  “Currently, there are just under 40 total Air Force positions at the 34th CTS. We are made up of mostly Airmen but have Soldiers and civilian personnel as well.”

Little Rock AFB is the home of the 34th CTS. But the squadron has two detachments in order to embed themselves in Army training. One operating location is located at Ft. Polk, Louisiana, and the other operating location is at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. 

 “By integrating with Army command and warfighter exercise units, we can facilitate the flow of critical information between the Air Mobility Command and the Army exercise audience,” said Lt. Col. Anita Mack, 34th CTS air mobility liaison officer. 

Air mobility liaison officers provide coaching and training on air mobility capabilities to ensure the effective use of Air Force capabilities in a combat environment. 

“Essentially we are the only USAF mobility liaison at the highest echelon of Army training,” said Mack. “We teach the effective use of the air mobility system to support Army combat operations.” 

The 34th CTS works with the Army’s Mission Command Training Program, which executes mission direction in order to conduct unified land operations. 

“Just some of the exercises we played a part in include Vibrant Response, Lion Focus, Saber Junction and Ulchi-Freedom Guardian,” Mack said. 

Along with promoting the cohesiveness of Army and Air Force operations, the exercises also improve operations with partner country armed forces. 

The exercises can often be multinational and range from a simulated attack, non-combatant evacuations, crisis response, disaster response, or full on large-scale warfare exercises with thousands of personnel and the use of jets, helicopters, battle banks, infantry fighting vehicles and Stryker combat vehicles. 

The 34th CTS plays a very important role in accomplishing the combat airlift mission. By working with the 34th CTS and other Air Force entities, Army Transportation Officers know how to properly implement the air mobility system. 

“Without knowing how to use the air mobility system to request air support, the Army would have no knowledge of airlift and airdrop capabilities,” said Mack. 

The 34th CTS will continue to exercise with sister services such as the Army in realistic, rigorous and robust missions to effectively prepare troops for combat. 

“The partnership between Army units and 34th CTS is vital in order to perform intense, full spectrum exercises,” said Lt. Col. Russell Parramore, 34th CTS detachment operating location alpha commander.

The exercises show immediate and positive effects achieved by airlift and airdrop. 

Through training from the 34th CTS, sister services and partner nations see the significance of combat airlift firsthand. Global air mobility, with the right effects, right place, right time, is a crucial advantage in the ground fighting environment.

The hard work of the 34th CTS and its Army counterparts show the importance of cohesion and will continue to display the benefits of successful partnerships. 

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