CREECH AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. - The 3rd Cavalry Regiment recently conducted live fire training with the U.S. Air Force Weapons School for two weeks during close-air support missions on the Nevada Test and Training Range at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada.
The USAFWS trains tactical experts and leaders skilled in the art of integrated battlespace dominance across the land, air, space and cyber domains.
The school consists of 18 squadrons teaching 24 graduate-level weapons instructor courses. The 3d CR lent its expertise and Stryker support to the 66th Weapons Squadron's Joint Terminal Attack Controller course.
"The 66th WPS welcomes opportunities to train with organizations like 3d CR," said Capt. Brian Wildey, Mortars Platoon leader, 3rd CR. "It enriches the learning experience for its students. Adding the double v-hull Strykers to the fight brought firepower that most JTAC students do not have the chance to see. In exchange, the range instructors of Creech Air Force Base offered freedom of movement to set up gun lines and execute against targets."
The crossflow of information between the USAFWS and 3rd CR highlighted the importance of planning and executing during joint operations.
"Being able to integrate ground operations, surface fires, and CAS [close air support] was a tremendous opportunity for our JTAC students," said Capt. Dennis Seay, flight commander, JTAC Weapons Instructor Course, 66th WPS.
"Whether our students are coming from primarily special operations or a conventional background, they have very little experience with Strykers. The mobility and responsiveness from the 3rd Cav. Regt. Strykers allowed us to move around the battlefield very quickly and provide integrated fires within seconds of identifying a target."
The "Brave Rifles" also provided joint fires observers who worked with the JTAC students to identify ground targets and call in strikes.
Declaring the CAS missions with 3d CR a success, Seay cited many benefits to the joint training.
"The integration of 120mm mortars and JFOs, A-10s, F-16s and our JTACs proved to be a lethal combination," Seay said. "We were able to develop and validate tactics, techniques and procedures as the two-week exercise progressed. Having the full CAS team available for the planning, execution and debrief is a benchmark we will continue at the JTAC Course."