Airmen from the US Air Force’s (USAF) 366th Fighter Wing and the 266th Range Squadron conducted a joint training exercise with sailors, marines and the army national guardsmen at Saylor Creek Range, Idaho, US.

Code-named Gunfighter Flag 15-2, the exercise provided a joint service combat experience to simulate deployed situations, and enabled sister services to approach problems such as adverse weather and work through them together.

366th Security Forces Squadron commander major Jason Williams said: "We mainly work with the army and the marines downrange, so when they come out here we get to see how their operations work and vice versa.

"Everybody speaks differently and when we get to work together like this, it really helps us understand each other."

"Everybody speaks differently and when we get to work together like this, it really helps us understand each other."

Difficult conditions at the remotely located Saylor Creek Range reminded the 366th Medical Group of how much more difficult deployed environments can be.

391st Fighter Squadron flight surgeon captain James Wirthlin said: "We can’t call up general surgery and take them up to a sterile operating room to save their life.

"If we had the resources, we could save everyone, but oftentimes that’s not the case.

"We try to bring as many people as we can downrange to save lives and these training environments certainly help them prepare for that."

The exercise also allowed for the conduct of mission-specific, close air support training on aircraft such as USAF F-15E Strike Eagles, US Navy EA-18 Growlers, Air National Guard A-10 Thunderbolt IIs and National Guard UH-60 Blackhawk and AH-64 Apache helicopters.

Gunfighter flag exercise series enable the US Defence Department to train and prepare for future joint service and deployed situations and execute realistic operation scenarios in an environment similar to south-west Asia.

Image: Personnel from 366th Security Forces Squadron and 124th Air Support Operation Squadron wait to board a US Army UH-60 Blackhawk during Gunfighter Flag 15-2 at Saylor Creek Range, Idaho, US. Photo: courtesy of US Air Force.