Exercise CAS 3.0: Warthogs coast over Florida

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Jacob Gutierrez
  • 442d Fighter Wing Public Affairs

The warm sunshine was a welcome relief for the metallic war machines that were used to colder Midwest pastures. With a lineup of A-10 Warthogs and their dedicated maintainers on hand, the 442d Fighter Wing was in a new landscape rapidly deploying their skillsets to show what dedication to training and craft can produce.

The mild atmosphere concealed a far more critical intention. 442d Airmen and pilots worked in the temperate climate to demonstrate interoperability with joint service partners in contested environments. This team is the modern representation of versatility; one that can respond to the needs of the collective defense of its allies and evolve to meet the growing presence of our near peer competitors.

The team of Airmen from the 442 FW at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., prepared to demonstrate the ability to set up aggregate air power quickly in a contingency environment by engaging in missions like close air support, combat search and rescue, and forward area refueling point operations during Exercise CAS 3.0, Feb. 1-15.

“CAS 3.0 was a large scale, live fire exercise…where nearly all air and ground players were shooting,” said Maj. Charles Phelps, 303d Fighter Squadron weapons officer. “The primary focus for the ground party was integration and deconfliction of air to surface and surface to surface fires. The key fundamentals of fighter integration and its core competencies are required in any theater, so this trip was less about a specific area of responsibility.”

Exercises enhance the readiness necessary to respond to potential challenges across the globe. Events such as CAS 3.0 provide vital opportunities, not only for Air Force Reserve units to work together but also for integrated, total force training with U.S. active-duty units and our partner nations’ militaries to ensure interoperability.