Battlefield Airmen bear the cold, increase combat capability

The 3rd ASOS recently completed some bone-chilling field training exercises up in Alaska.  Judging by the pictures, it looks like they had a kick ass time in the frozen tundra.

Story By Airman 1st Class Isaac Johnson, 354th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

U.S. Air Force Airmen with Detachment 1, 3rd Air Support Operations Squadron, hike through the snow during their winter field training exercise Nov. 29, 2017, at the Husky drop zone in Interior Alaska. Airmen spent multiple days outside with minimal time away from the cold to enhance their ability to operate in an arctic environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Isaac Johnson)
A U.S. Air Force Tactical Air Control Party Airman assigned to Detachment 1, 3rd Air Support Operations Squadron, checks a map during a winter field training exercise Nov. 30, 2017, at the Husky drop zone in Interior Alaska. During this portion of the exercise, Airmen were split into teams and spent hours navigating through the frozen forest to reach their target location. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Isaac Johnson)

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska —

Working outside when it’s negative 15 degrees, which is cold enough for your eyelashes to frost over, isn’t the ideal environment for most; but for Airmen with Detachment 1, 3rd Air Support Operations Squadron, it’s just another day.

Last week, Det. 1, 3 ASOS completed their winter functional training exercise, where they endured the bone-chilling cold and increased their overall lethality.

“Being able to operate in arctic conditions is a lot different than operating in ideal conditions,” said Staff Sgt. Timothy Cuoto, the Det. 1, 3 ASOS unit training manager. “When it gets that cold equipment and people can break, but you have to push forward.”

With interior Alaska being an extremely harsh and unforgiving environment, it makes for the perfect place to help prepare and hone the capabilities of the Air Force’s elite operators also known as Tactical Air Control Party.

“We went over some different things that some of our guys haven’t seen yet,” said Staff Sgt. Philip Henderson, the Det. 1, 3 ASOS operational training manager. “We were able to cover tactical ground movements, classroom material, familiarization training and some other essentials.”

Commonly embedded with Marine and Army units, TACP Airmen play an important role in ensuring ground and air forces are on the same page.

“This is as close as it gets,” said Henderson. “Right now these Airmen are learning things they’ll need when they’re deployed.”

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