By Staff Sgt. Jeremy McGuffin
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Green Flag 16-06 provides extensive hands-on training to multiple service members - both joint and coalition forces -- in a short span of time which existed between April 14 to 24, 2016.
Wanting to get a firsthand look at the foundation provided by the 34th Combat Training Squadron, U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Jerry Martinez, Air Mobility Command Director of Operations, immersed himself into the exercise so he could witness the operations and meet the participants.
Martinez put boots-on-the-ground April 18, in Fort Polk, Louisiana, to view the main staging area for the exercise and saw quickly why Green Flag is known as the premier Mobility Air Forces training exercise.
“The 34th CTS is one of the premier training squadrons in our entire command and their reputation is amazing,” Martinez said. “They not only train our Airmen, but they work with other departments and other services in order to make our Airmen better.”
This particular iteration of Green Flag is unique from previous training exercises because it integrated a large number of international partners participating side-by-side with U.S. Airmen and Soldiers.
“It does us no good to train as if we’re going to be a single force,” Martinez said. “We work with different countries to better understand each others’ tactics, techniques and procedures. You don’t want to figure TTP’s out when you’re on the battlefield; the time to figure those out is while you can do it in a good constructive training environment. That is exactly what we do here, and that is why it’s so important.”
Inclement weather consisting of heavy rain and thunderstorms did not deter the general from visiting the troops. The elements only added to illustrate how seriously this training is taken.
“Every time I go out to the field, I get to see my fellow Airmen doing their job and it makes me so proud. I see these individuals -- these young men and women -- who are so smart, so technical, so scientific, and can adapt (to any situation),” said Martinez. “You see them and realize there is a reason we are the best Air Force in the world; it’s because of our people.”