Hurlburt squadron supports largest U.S. Africa Command exercise

  • Published
  • By 505th Command and Control Wing Public Affairs
  • 505th Combat Training Squadron

Airmen from the 505th Combat Training Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Florida, supported the command post exercise African Lion 22, the “premiere joint multi-national exercise in the AFRICOM area of responsibility,” according to U.S. Army Maj. James Guglielmi, U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa foreign area officer, Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Apr. 2-14. 

The 505th CTS supplemented the U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa Warfare Center combined exercise control group providing a virtual-air picture throughout the 13-day exercise.

The joint, all-domain exercise on the continent of Africa is part of USAFRICOM’s campaign plan and functions as a way to increase U.S. influence in North Africa and the Sahel.

“In an era of strategic competition, it is essential that the U.S. continue to work and train with all of our partners,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Michael Power, 505th CTS director of operations, Hurlburt Field, Florida. “In African Lion, our team was able to highlight the role of airpower to both our joint team and our African partners across a wide range of missions.”  

African Lion 22 was a multi-domain, multi-component, and multi-national exercise to strengthen interoperability among partner nations throughout the African theater of operations. The live portion of the exercise was conducted in Morocco, Senegal, and Ghana, with training across an array of missions, from battalion-level combat operations to humanitarian relief.        

The 505th CTS team included members from the Professional Control Force and the Models and Simulations Division. The PCF provided a full-spectrum professional replication of tactical-level USAF and joint airpower. The M&S team developed and managed “the game” – the constructive simulation which replicated all domains in the operational environment so that the training audience executed campaign plans without the resources required for a full-live exercise.

“It was a privilege to represent the USAF in the largest annual AFRICOM exercise,” said Jeff Duerrwaechter, 505th director of air operations, Hurlburt Field, Florida. “With every mission replicated, from close air support to airdrops, we were helping our partners understand how the U.S. accesses and uses airpower to underwrite stability and security.”   

During the 13-day exercise, the 505th CTS and USAFE-AFAFRICA Warfare Center combined team replicated the AFAFRICA air component executing 560 sorties for 7,500 participants from across the joint force and nine African partner nations.

“Deterring the multi-domain threat from the pacing challenge is not the sole responsibility of a single combatant commander,” said USAF Col. Aaron Gibney, 505th Combat Training Group commander, Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.  “Rather, this is a global challenge that requires global engagement with our partners.  African Lion demonstrates that the U.S. joint force stands ready, with our partners, to deter aggression whenever and wherever our adversaries threaten.”