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Interfly mission opens new possibilities

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Chris Sedlacek
  • 96th Airlift Squadron
The Interfly Mission
Lt Col Chris Sedlacek

As a Reserve organization, we have the task of continually seeking efficient methods to train and equip our members to accomplish the wing mission of providing worldwide tactical airlift and combat support. In order to be successful in the execution of our flying mission, our airmen are required to maintain currency in numerous training tasks on a semi-annual basis.

Interfly operations are one method by which we can accomplish these tasks and also broaden and share our experience with other Air Force units. The basic premise of an interfly is the sharing of resources to accomplish the flying mission. For flight training purposes, this means that we utilize aircraft and aircrew from multiple units together to achieve training objectives and maximize our efforts. In recent months, we have implemented this concept by partnering with our fellow airmen across the ramp in the Air National Guard to garner experience that would have otherwise been unachievable.

In both April and November of this fiscal year, we conducted 8-ship night interfly operations with the 133 Airlift Wing. During these training operations we were able to practice and improve our capability of flying formation both with and without visual references while successfully simulating the delivery of critical supplies to ground forces. By flying eight aircraft at once, we were able to accomplish numerous training requirements in a short amount of time with each unit contributing fewer resources than would have been required individually (maybe Clausewitz was on to something with his theory of economy of force).

Even more recently, we sent two aircraft and three crews to Exercise Maple Flag in Canada where we trained alongside Reserve airmen from three other AFRC units. This exercise provided the opportunity for us to blend aircrews and share valuable experience on the methods and procedures of providing airlift and airdrop while being engaged by hostile aircraft and defensive systems. Through this sharing of resources, we were able to provide our crews and support personnel seasoning and operational training that will enhance our capabilities and ensure the 934th Airlift Wing continues to provide the best combat-ready team to the Air Force mission. Remember, "Only the best...today and tomorrow."