DVIDS – News – 93rd EARS supports Bright Star 21, fuels capacity of regional partners

Airmen and KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft assigned to the 93rd Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron deployed from Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash., Provided in-flight refueling capabilities as part of Exercise Bright Star 21, 5 until September 16, 2021.
“Our contribution this year has been to have our boom operators help qualify Egyptian pilots for aerial refueling,” said Captain Ryan Turner, pilot instructor and flight safety officer assigned to the 93rd EARS. “We have also demonstrated that we can keep our planes clear of threats while projecting air power in a given area.”
During the exercise, Airmen from the 93rd EARS helped qualify 12 Egyptian F-16 Fighting Falcon pilots on aerial refueling maneuvers in addition to providing logistical support to F-15E Strike Eagles assigned to the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing who participated in the exercise.
“It’s always good to be able to train in different cells,” said Major Frank Simon, operations officer of the 93rd EARS. “It was a unique training opportunity for us, having been focused on combat for the past few months. This is new for our unit and it was good for our young aviators who have never experienced something like this before.
The 93rd EARS currently operates out of Incirlik Air Base in Turkey, which is home to the 39th Air Base Wing. According to Col. Jason Gingrich, commander of the 39th ABW, Incirlik’s unique position makes it an invaluable asset in meeting mission requirements in multiple geographic regions.
“Through our strategic location, we serve as a power projection platform, supporting operations in the areas of responsibility of the United States European Command and United States Central Command,” said Gingrich. “The 39th Air Base Wing is proud to work alongside our interagency, allied and coalition partners to further strengthen regional security and deter potential aggressors. “
Bright Star 21 is an Egyptian and CENTCOM multilateral training event that provides the opportunity to test a collective ability to work with partners to address realistic scenarios in the air, land and sea domains, and within combat headquarters combined. The exercise consisted of a command post exercise, a field training exercise and a seminar for senior leaders.
Since its inception in 1980, Bright Star has built on the strategic relationships between the United States, the Arab Republic of Egypt and other partner countries to support the fight against terrorism and counter violent extremism. This exercise also provided an opportunity to improve the way participating nations address common threats to regional security at all levels of command and in all areas of warfare.
“This exercise is an important professional development tool for testing and validating concepts, procedures, and tactics,” said U.S. Air Force Major General Steven J. deMilliano, director of exercises and leadership of the training, CENTCOM. “More broadly, they allow the military to develop their capabilities and prepare to respond quickly to demanding crisis situations”,
Bright Star typically occurs every two years, but has been postponed to 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s exercise is the result of extensive virtual cooperation and planning, and highlights the extraordinary ability of participating countries to operate in a challenging pandemic environment.

Date taken: 29.09.2021
Date posted: 29.09.2021 05:38
Story ID: 406256

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