A team of active duty and Reserve personnel from Hill's associated fighter wings are racking up some impressive stats during a 180-day deployment to Korea.
The F-16 pilots and maintainers from the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings departed for Kunsan Air Base in September as part of a Theater Security Package (TSP) rotation. Fighter units across the Air Force routinely augment the 8th FW there to maintain a balance of forces in the region to deter aggression from the north.
During the first 70 days on the Korean peninsula, the team executed a nearly flawless flying hour program with 12 aircraft for a total of 492 sorties and 650 flight hours. They also participated in two intensive Operational Readiness Exercises and one large-scale joint forces employment exercise, boasting 100 percent air-to-air and 94 percent air-to-ground employment effectiveness rates.
"We demonstrated what's possible when leveraging all the resources of our associated wings," said Lt. Col. Tyler Otten, a reservist who served as the 466th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron commander during the initial phase of the deployment.
During one of the exercises, the team flew a whopping 93 of 96 sorties in four days.
"Given these exercises are developed to put significant stress on flying programs, you'd typically see a far greater number of sorties lost," said 466th EFS maintenance officer and reservist Maj. Eric Hidden. "These outstanding numbers are indicative of just how well our Airmen performed."
The team credits their success to allowing Airmen to lead at their individual levels within the deployed organization, according to active duty Chief Master Sgt. Robert Block, 466th EFS chief of maintenance.
"Our foundation to success was as simple as allowing our leaders to lead, our experts to manage, and front line workers the freedom to do their jobs," he said.
The shared active duty-Reserve deployment was split so personnel from each wing had the opportunity to hold leadership positions. Reservists from the 419th FW led the first 70 days and active duty personnel from the 388th FW will now lead the remaining 110 days.
"The integration between active duty and reserve personnel has been flawless," said Col. Scott Long, 388th FW commander. "The reservists successfully delivered experience and continuity to the TSP, and we continue to make our Total Force Enterprise better through effective communication and a shared vision."
Long said being deployed in the Pacific region is a great training opportunity for both active duty and reservists, and it provides a chance to further enhance already strong relationships that developed while working closely together at Hill.
Hill's fighter units associated in 2007 as part of the Air Force Total Force Integration initiative aimed at increasing combat capability through shared resources and by capitalizing on the strengths of active duty, Reserve and Guard components.