PRANG integrates with 52nd FW during large-scale exercises

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Rafael D. Rosa
  • 156th Wing

U.S. Airmen assigned to the 156th Logistics Readiness Squadron and the 156th Wing Staff, Puerto Rico Air National Guard, integrated with the 52nd Fighter Wing as a force multiplier, executing daily operations, hands-on training, exchanging best practices and augmenting capabilities in support of the Saber Knight Readiness Exercise 24-01, and Astral Knight 24, at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, April 29 - May 13, 2024.

Through coordination and logistics, an Air National Guard unit and an Active duty unit from different parts of the hemisphere had the unique opportunity to work together and highlight each other's strengths through collaborative training efforts during the execution of two large-scale exercises.

“Working with the 52nd Fighter Wing has been an amazing experience; during the trip, we’ve come together as a team, and it has served to learn, benchmark and adapt each other's tactics, techniques and procedures,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Eduardo Gonzalez, the 156th Wing installation deployment officer.

Airmen with the 156th LRS provided support in flight service center, risk kit assembly, central storage operations, individual protective equipment issue, cargo preparation and ground transportation training and certification, and the 156th Wing Command Post directly integrating in all facets of local C2 operations.

Many of the work areas participated in the Saber Knight exercise, the 52nd Fighter Wing’s readiness exercise focused on defending the base, recovering from simulated attacks and rapidly generating F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft sorties supporting Astral Night 24 objectives. 

Astral Knight 24 is a multinational military exercise focused on exercising Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) and the incremental development of theater-wide security and capabilities; both exercises took place simultaneously.

“Since both exercise objectives are driven by different factors such as readiness, base defense, rapid movement of assets, Integrated Air and Missile Defense, being here gives our LRS Airmen the opportunity to train in a fast-pace environment where they gain proficiency in preparing cargo to head out the door and execute the mission,” said U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. George Sanchez, the 156th LRS senior enlisted leader.

For U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Angel Cardona, the 156th LRS quality assurance superintendent, having the majority of participating PRANG Airmen training in these exercises, provides them an expansive vision of their capabilities as Guardsmen when executing their job during a deployment.

“About 65% of our PRANG Airmen participating or supporting these exercises are new members, so being here allows them to upgrade their training level while experiencing a deployment-type scenario for the first time, providing them a broad vision of their job capabilities and allowing them to contrast what they do back home with how they would operate while in a deployed environment,” said Cardona.

Consistently training and improving processes to optimize efforts to prepare for great power competition and high-end conflicts, PRANG Airmen continue to showcase their commitment to executing the mission no matter where they are.