January 26, 2015 (by SrA Armando A. Schwier-Morales) - Airmen from the 37th Airlift Squadron participated in a multilateral training event as part of Volfa 15-1, an annual training event led by the French Air Force at Orleans - Bricy Air Base, France, January 21, 2015.
US Airmen ready their C-130J Super Hercules next to their French counterpart's C-130H Hercules at Orleans - Bricy AB, France on January 21, 2015. Two C-130Js from Ramstein AB, Germany, participated in the French-led exercise Volfa 15-1. [USAF photo by SrA Armando A. Schwier-Morales]
The exercise increases the interoperability of airlift squadrons within NATO and tests entry forces' actions in high-level electronic warfare. The exercise is one of the ways Airmen can stay ready, develop partnerships and hone their ability to respond anywhere at any time.
"The exercise is kind of like a test laboratory for our operations," said Maj. David Lann, Personnel Exchange Program exchange officer. "If we had to work together against a common enemy, how would that be done and would we be able to do it or are there changes that multiple sides have to make to our operations to ensure we fit well as one cohesive force in the future."
Lann hoped that this exercise can help answer those questions. On Jan. 21 the French 261st Tactical Airlift Squadron hosted the 37th AS that flew from Ramstein to Bricy. There the U.S. Airmen met Lann, who is on loan and part of the 261st TAS, who helped coordinate the events.
"The French are one of our closest allies, so keeping that partnership alive and capable of reacting to future threats feels very important and I happen to have the ability to that on a daily basis," said Lann.
Lann helped coordinated a tour of the U.S. C-130J Super Hercules for French Airmen, currently flying the C-130H, as well as a mission featuring a low-level simulated drop. The Ramstein Airmen also had a chance to learn and speak with the French squadron leadership.
"Volfa is important because we learn to interoperate with other countries and other aircraft," said French Air Force Maj. Nicolas Geranton, 261st Tactical Airlift Squadron formal training and evaluations chief. "It's not often that we get to train together. By training together, we will be ready to do the mission together."
The 37th AS visit to Bricy is just one part of Volfa 15-1 and is one of the ways U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa continues their dedication to NATO.
"Reassurance is not only the force but the speed," said Gen. Frank Gorenc, USAFE-AFAFRICA commander. "That's why Forward. Ready. Now! is such an important concept ... We are the immediate response people."
While the flight was a day-time low-level simulated drop, other Airmen will be conducting more day and night flights while performing simulated air drops and personnel recovery training with NATO allies as Volfa 15-1 continues during the next few weeks.