Stingers and Warhawks join for Base-Wide Readiness exercise

From 5 till 16 March 2018 Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, was dominated by a base-wide readiness exercise. The exercise was held to test the base’s ability to rapidly respond to emergencies and threats. Exercise-related flying operations were conducted by the 726th Air Mobility Squadron, by Spangdahlem’s 480th Fighter Squadron ‘Warhawks’ and by the 112th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron ‘Stingers’ with their Block 42 F-16s.

112th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron
The 112th FS ‘Stingers’ are assigned to the Ohio Air National Guard’s 180th Fighter Wing and are based at Toledo Express Airport. On 6 March 2018 seven Ohio Vipers arrived at Spangdahlem AB, two more followed a day later. The 112th almost immediately participated in the exercise.
The 112th EFS arrived in Europe on 14 January 2018. On that day twelve F-16s landed at Ämari air base, Estonia, as part of a Theater Security Package (TSP) in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve. At the end of the TSP, the 112th made one final stop at Spangdahlem AB before leaving back to Ohio in week 12.

Active duty and Air National Guard in one exercise
The fact that the 112th was in the vicinity at the time of the exercise made it a logical choice to ask the unit to participate. Having the 112th nearby was also a great opportunity to see how an active duty unit participates with an ANG unit in an exercise like this. Although most of the things that were done during the exercise are no different than what is done on a “normal working day”, the fact that it is a readiness exercise makes it all more stressful and helps the personnel to get out of their comfort zone.

Our article about this exercise was published in the June 2018 issue of Full-Stop Magazine.