Terminal Employment Ex.

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Vaughn Weber
  • 355 WG/PA

The 55th Rescue Squadron, assigned to the 355th Wing at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, performed terminal employment exercises at Gowen Field Air National Guard Base, Idaho, Sept. 12-23, 2022.

Terminal employment is the phase of training that the 55th RQS follows to simulate the final phase of their primary mission, which is combat search and rescue.

“Terminal employment is our most advanced air-to-ground gunnery training,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Glynnis “Ghost” Facciano, 55th RQS HH-60G Pavehawk pilot. “It focuses on employment decision making and tactics in the terminal area around a survivor during a combat search and rescue mission.”

While utilizing Orchard Range, the 55th RQS targeted stationary and mobile simulated threats, radio communication and a nearby survivor to simulate the elimination of nearby targets and afterwards a rapid extraction of the survivor. This involved integration with pararescue teams and joint terminal attack controllers for their close air support training.

“Many months of hard work and countless hours were put into this exercise by our phase manager Capt. Tilman,” said Capt. Tyler Wilson, 55th RQS HH-60G Pavehawk pilot. “Combining operations, maintenance and munitions units to have a successful large-scale exercise between us and the 34th.”

The 55th Rescue Generation Squadron, assigned to the 355th Wing at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona, as well as the 34th Weapons Squadron, assigned to the U.S. Air Force Weapons School, stationed at Nellis AFB, Nevada, attended the training at Gowen Field. They provided aircraft and weapons maintenance, support for jammed guns and additional ammunition when needed.

“34 aircrew with the 55th RQS, 37 maintainers with the 55th RGS, and 11 support personnel from the 563rd Rescue Group, 563rd Operational Support Squadron, 355th Civil Engineering Squadron and 355th Explosives Ordnance Disposal arrived totaling 82 personnel,” said Captain Terry Tilghman, 55th RQS director of staff. “37 sorties were flown, totaling 138 flight hours with 65,832 rounds being fired from the 60’s guns.”

Command teams keep readiness at the forefront of all they do and DM is no exception. Existing largely to rescue and attack, DM provides rapid and decisive combat airpower which allows joint forces to defend the U.S. and win wars.