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Reserve Fighter Group Leads Off-Site Total Force Training Event

  • Published
  • By Bo Joyner

Air Force Reserve Command’s 414th Fighter Group and the active-duty 4th Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, have enjoyed an exemplary Total Force relationship in support of the F-15E Strike Eagle mission ever since the 414th FG was reactivated in 2010. The two organizations recently took their affiliation to another level when, for the first time, the 414th FG led a Total Force training event at the Savannah, Georgia Combat Readiness Training Center in November. 

“For the past couple of years, the 414th has been leading flying operations on the weekend six or seven times a year,” said Maj. Wesley Szempruch, the director of operations for the 414th FG’s 307th Fighter Squadron. “We take four of the active duty’s jets and lead training operations at Seymour Johnson over the weekend and return the jets, ready to fly, on Monday morning. At our strategic planning meeting in August, we thought it would be invaluable training to push the envelope a little more and take the training off-site.”

Working hand-in-hand with the 4th FW’s 334th Fighter Squadron, Reserve Citizen Airmen from the 307th FS and the 414th Maintenance Squadron quickly set to work to make the off-site training event a reality. 

“With only about six weeks of planning time, we were able to bring together more than 40 Reservists and 60 active-duty personnel and execute a $190,000, four-day trip with eight F-15Es to the Savannah Combat Readiness Training Center,” Szempruch said. “We executed more than 35 student air-to-air sorties, combining with Jacksonville Air National Guard F-15Cs, adversary A-4s from Draken International and organic CRTC support to maximize student training. In addition, we integrated with the (Reserve’s) 916th Air Refueling Wing at Seymour Johnson to effectively almost double the number of sorties we were able to generate.”

The 916th provided KC-46 refueling support during the training event.

“Not only did the 414th integrate with an active-duty fighter squadron, but we sourced 4th FW security forces, logistics readiness and POL (petroleum, oil and lubricants) Airmen to support this endeavor. All in all, this first-ever AFRC-planned and led off-station F-15E Formal Training Unit TDY was a resounding success, and both active-duty and Reserve leadership plan to do it again each year at a minimum.”

The 414th Fighter Group is a geographically separated subordinate unit of the 944th Fighter Wing at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona.