JBER flies through exercise Patriot Grizzly and Winter Fury
Story by A1C Caitlin Russell on 01/31/2019
Active duty and Air Force Reserve Airmen from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson arrived at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, San Diego, Calif., on Jan. 15, to conduct in-house and joint training, until Feb. 13, 2019.
Aircrew and pilots with the 525th Fighter Squadron, 90th Fighter Squadron, 3rd Maintenance Group and 477th Fighter Group, are continuing to perform flying operations with in-house exercise Patriot Grizzly, and completed joint exercise Winter Fury on Jan. 23. Winter Fury involved both Marine F/A-18C Hornets, and Navy F-35C Lightning II’s, partnering with F-22s to perform air-to-air combat, while protecting ground assets.
Although Winter Fury has ended, F-22s will continue to partner with Marine F/A-18C Hornets throughout their in-house training.
“Patriot Grizzly is unique for us [JBER] because we brought both active-duty and reserve personnel on the temporary duty to increase readiness through consistent flying,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Jared Becker, 525th Fighter Squadron pilot. “The integration with our personnel, and then also with the Marines and Navy, has established cross-talk that is important to the exercise and the mission as a whole.”
Both exercises allowed JBER aircrew and pilots to practice standardized tactics across the services and adjust to different flying procedures and communication. This was the first time JBER active-duty and reserves participated in a TDY together.
“This exercise has really allowed us to think outside of the box,” said Air Force Staff Sgt. Donovan Hall, 525th Aircraft Maintenance Unit dedicated crew chief. “Because we’re on a Marine Air Station, there are a lot of variables that we have to adjust to and be able to make quick decisions. It’s also been good for the teamwork aspect because we’re working with a lot of different organizations, and focusing on the whole joint warfighter mentality.”
Air Force Lt. Col. Johnson, 302nd Fighter Squadron deployed director of operations, attested to focusing on joint interoperability. “While operating from a Marine Corps Air Station does have its challenges, such as different flying operations, we’re working through all of those issues and making it happen. All of our interactions with the personnel at Miramar have been top notch, we’ve received a lot of support.”
Exercise Patriot Grizzly and Winter Fury allow JBER personnel, active-duty and reserve, to increase total force integration across services.