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Shaw starts new training initiative: Superfront

photo of jets lined up

F-16 Vipers line up for take-off at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Oct. 23, 2020. A new training initiative began to increase expertise during a scenario of a larger number of aircraft with a condensed window of time to fly, creating a more challenging training environment for the pilots and maintainers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Destani K. Matheny)

Airman marshals a jet

Airman 1st Class Makayla Weimer, 79th Fighter Generation Squadron (FGS) crew chief, marshals an F-16 Viper at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Oct. 21, 2020. Airmen assigned to the FGS and Fighter Squadron worked together to produce jets, launch them, control the airfield and provide the fuels support needed to keep the entire flying schedule on track. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Destani K. Matheny)

photo of Airmen and F16

U.S. Air Force Capt. Trevor Hallberg, 79th Fighter Squadron (FS) F-16 Viper pilot speaks into a headset to Airman 1st Class Makayla Weimer, 79th Fighter Generation Squadron (FGS) crew chief at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Oct. 21, 2020. Airmen assigned to the FGS and FS worked together to produce jets, launch them, control the airfield and provide the fuels support needed to keep the entire flying schedule on track. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Destani K. Matheny)

Airman on flightline

Airman 1st Class Rodrigo Romero, 79th Fighter Generation Squadron crew chief, completes a pre-flight inspection at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Oct. 21, 2020. A new training initiative began to increase expertise during a scenario of a larger number of aircraft with a condensed window of time to fly, creating a more challenging training environment for the pilots and maintainers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Destani K. Matheny)

photo of pilot in F16

U.S. Air Force Maj. Dennis Muller, 79th Fighter Squadron F-16 Viper pilot, prepares to taxi at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Oct. 21, 2020. A new training initiative began to increase expertise during a scenario of a larger number of aircraft with a condensed window of time to fly, creating a more challenging training environment for the pilots and maintainers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Destani K. Matheny)

photo of pilot helmet

An F-16 Viper pilot helmet is placed on an aircraft before a flight at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Oct. 21, 2020. Team Shaw started a new training schedule for pilots and maintenance assigned to the 55th Shooters and 79th Tigers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Destani K. Matheny)

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- 20th Fighter Wing Airmen recently created and executed a new training opportunity to enhance readiness at Shaw Air Force Base.

Known as a Super Front, this initiative pairs two fighter generation squadrons' F-16s together to increase the number of jets in the air at one time. This allows pilots, maintainers, logisticians and airfield operators from the same wing to employ large packages of aircraft during routine operations, which is a unique feat for a single wing.

“A Super Front is when one of our fighter squadrons uses both the 55th Fighter Squadron’s aircraft and the 79th Fighter Squadron’s aircraft in the same flying period,” said Capt. Andrew Guldin, 55th FS pilot. “Normally, we would fly at different times to deconflict using the same airspace; however, by both squadron’s jets going up at the same time, a lot more jets are airborne and we fly more complicated air-to-air and air-to-ground missions.”

Pilots typically train on a variety of mission sets to include offensive counter-air and defensive counter-air, which requires “blue air” pilots, simulated U.S., coalition and regional partners, to fly against “red air” pilots, who are the simulated adversary. Having more jets up in the air at the same time enhances difficulty by allowing for more simulated adversaries, as well as requires more complex mission planning and multiple formations working together.

“We are enhancing the quality of our training and aligning it in accordance with our defense doctrine and commander in chief's intent,” said Capt. Parker Herrington, 79th FS pilot. “Our adversaries' proficiency and operations are advancing and therefore ours must too.”

Creating more realistic training scenarios that pilots may see in a great power competition, Super Fronts also allow for the creation of a large force exercise. Generally requiring multiple partners and wings, large force exercises are an important training opportunity to validate a team’s ability to integrate, test their capabilities and maximize their performance.

“To compete, deter and win, we have to rethink how we can use our daily activities to train for the future,” said Guldin “This idea, and now reality, provides significant training and directly gets after how Airmen are empowered to innovate and make quality changes at all levels.”