MUÑIZ AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Puerto Rico —
The 156th Wing, along with four other Air National Guard Wings, two Air Force Reserve Wings, the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and other government agencies partnered to execute Operation Hoodoo Sea, an agile combat training exercise led by the Virginia Air National Guard, which occurred on the southeast U.S. coast, during the first week of May.
Airmen assigned to the 156th Wing engaged with the 192nd Wing to coordinate and support logistics and airfield operations for F-22 Raptors and KC-135 Stratotankers at Muñiz Air National Guard Base while providing command and control support from the 141st Air Control Squadron to control the skies.
“The 156th Wing’s strategic location is ideal for supporting Major Commands and the Department of Defense implementing the 2022 National Defense Strategy,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Evaristo Orengo, 156th Wing Commander. “We will continue to integrate and support our sister units and their cargo, combat and refueling aircraft while providing superior relevance to the Puerto Rico Air National Guard and its Airmen worldwide.”
Operation Hoodoo Sea’s goal was to assess and validate minimum force elements using Multi-Capable Airmen to support a “scale down” deployment by over 90% of the typical workforce and equipment footprint.
“Airmen with experience working one subset of tasks will be asked to see how they can integrate on different tasks in austere environments,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Lawrence Dietrich, 149th Fighter Squadron commander and exercise commander. “At the end of the exercise, if a KC-135 crew chief is taking a post-mission intelligence report from an F-22 pilot and disseminating threat location to a displaced, over-the-horizon bomber force, while a C-17 loadmaster is helping to execute a combat turn on an F-22, then we are exceeding our expectations for this exercise.”
Units participating in the exercise tested innovation solutions for agile, secure communications, portable aerospace ground equipment, aircraft concealment, and survival kits.
“We’re testing a new ladder that collapses and stows inside the F-22 cockpit,” said Dietrich. “This reduces forward staging requirement of equipment and people for ingress and egress of the cockpit to zero.”
This exercise, along with previous exercises supported by the PRANG, such as U.S. Southern Command’s Forward Tiger exercise recently, provides a unique opportunity for our Airmen to train hands-on with various airframes and implement concepts of Multi-Capable Airmen as well as Agile Combat Employment.
“We are proud to be a part of these large scale exercises and see how our Airmen represent the Puerto Rico Air National Guard with their professionalism, proving our combat capabilities align with National Security Strategy initiatives,” said Orengo.
To see the full album of photos from this exercise visit the following link: