20th CES maintains readiness at Silver Flag
By Senior Airman Cody Sanders, 20th Fighter Wing
/ Published July 30, 2021
TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, FL. -- Silver Flag includes classroom instruction and hands-on training over the first eight days and then a capstone event broken down into the final two days; the first of which consists of bare base construction while the second day focuses on Rapid Airfield Damage Recovery.
RADR is a new method requiring all skills from the CE universe to rapidly repair runways and runway support structures allowing airfield operations to resume within a matter of hours after an incident.
“As we adapt to the agile combat employment environment, we have to look at ways we can increase the resiliency of our infrastructure, equipment and trained personnel to protect and regenerate sorties,” said Maj. Graham Auten, 20th CES commander. “Silver Flag allows our Airmen to get realistic training for future peer-to-peer conflicts where we need our Airmen to be technically proficient, safe and combat capable when called upon.”
Silver Flag provides Airmen with a chance to utilize RADR in a contingency environment after focusing on bare base construction to get the full effect of a mock deployment.
The training’s capstone event kicked off with members of the 20th CES, partnered with Airmen from force support, logistics readiness and other civil engineer squadrons around the U.S. to conduct bare base construction in a deployed environment.
Following a simulated attack, explosive ordnance disposal Airmen cleared the airfield of any unexploded ordnance. Once cleared, Airmen removed debris from around the craters and began cutting through the runway, creating holes easier to repair.
“Civil engineer and ground transportation Airmen work together to restore airfield capability in a matter of hours. At the same time, our Silver Flag cadre are exercising students on other functions essential to operating an expeditionary airbase while recovering after an attack,” said Chief Master Sgt. John Agnew, 823 RED HORSE Squadron, Detachment 1, chief enlisted manager. “Our team is dedicated to developing and delivering realistic training that is relevant to our potential threats.”
The Silver Flag training curriculum is constantly changing to meet the needs of the ever-evolving Air Force to ensure total force Airmen are expertly trained.
“The Air Force needs to look no further than the 20th Civil Engineer Squadron Airmen for combat-ready, resilient Airmen who are trained, prepared and motivated to succeed in today’s dynamic environment,” said Auten. “We are excited to be back at Shaw and to continue to hone our contingency skills in support of the Air Force’s largest F-16 combat wing to ensure we win tomorrow’s fight.”