DVIDS – News – New fighter formation improves joint lethality with Hawaii ANG, Navy Reserves


JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii — Hawaiian skies cleared for Total Force Airmen and Naval Reserve exercise participants as they took part in a unique fighter exercise in its kind here from January 18th to 26th.

While Hawaii’s ANG regularly conducts large-scale combat exercises as part of its Sentry Aloha program, this training marked the first time the EA-18G Growlers combined their electronic attack (EA) capabilities with locally based F-22 Raptors in the commonplace.

The reduced roster of attendees allowed Growler operators, assigned to Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 209 “Star Warriors”, and “Hawaiian Raptors” to focus on specialized tactics tailored to their abilities. unique attacks.

The EA-18G Growler is the US Army’s premier airborne electronic attack platform and is flown exclusively by the US Navy from aircraft carriers and land bases and it provides advanced suppression of enemy air defenses .

“The ability to integrate with Hawaii’s ANG F-22 allowed the VAQ-209 to perform air-to-air missions – including basic fighter maneuvers – with a highly advanced, high-ratio fighter high weight/thrust, which is a rare and unique opportunity for a VAQ squadron,” said Naval Reserve Cmdr. Peter Scheu, pilot of the VAQ-209 Growler. “This airspace allows them to maximize their time, fuel and their training that is not available at their home station.”

Pilots, aircraft maintenance personnel, and mission planners rely on drills to improve their combat skills, ingenuity, and ability to integrate with other advanced aircraft.

“We do a lot of aerial refueling, which we don’t have that opportunity at home, so we test our abilities in the air,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Natasha Williams, a VAQ-209 aircraft mechanic who specializes in hydraulic structures and systems. “The non-detectable aircraft technology used for our aircraft’s color scheme helps us blend in, and the protective coating helps us reflect radar.”

While the primary objective of this exercise is to test and improve combat skills with partner units to ensure air superiority, it also provides a collaborative environment to connect and improve communication.

“A big part of communication is that we use different words to mean the same thing,” said Lt. Col. Steven Augugliaro, director of Sentry Aloha. “For example, in the USAF, we call two fighters flying in formation a “2-Ship”. In the navy, they would call this same formation a “section.” Getting familiar with different terms in a common environment can help break down communication barriers when working together. »

The integration of combat platforms increases the overall mission readiness of both squadrons as they learn capabilities that can be leveraged when the two aircraft operate synergistically together; a concept commonly referred to as a “force multiplier” in the fighting community.

Date taken: 28.01.2022
Date posted: 28.01.2022 19:55
Story ID: 413661

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