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33rd FW training wraps up in Vermont

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Amber Litteral
  • 33rd Fighter Wing

Nomads with the 60th Fighter Squadron, 33rd Fighter Wing, returned home last week after conducting off-site training for three weeks at Burlington Air National Guard Base, Vermont.

“This has been a huge milestone as the first 60th FS off-station training event since the squadron was activated last year.” U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Michael Emerson, commander of the 60th Fighter Squadron. “Our team completely knocked it out of the park.”

Along with avoiding home station weather attrition, this training allowed the 60th FS to integrate with 4th-gen aircraft and execute operations while a runway undergoes construction at Eglin AFB, similar to when the 33rd FW hosted the 158th FW in 2020.

During their short time in Vermont, the 60th FS and 33rd Maintenance Group personnel conducted 134 sorties, and flew 255.1 hours, increasing sortie generation 32.8%, and flying 47 hours more than projected.

“This training has allowed us to maximize air-to-air training and to exercise intra- and inter-service integration in new airspace,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Stephen Vrabric, an instructor pilot with the 60th FS and project officer for the training. “This continued, effective training enhances our readiness.”

Training outside of local operations gave the 33rd FW a different perspective on alternate methods of launching and recovering aircraft, developing flight plans and improving team dynamics.

“Although we are currently coded for training missions, the education learned throughout this process assists our Airmen in preparing to move on to combat-coded units or supporting deployed missions in the future,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Morgan Higdon, officer in charge of the 60th AMU.

The trip also enhanced and showcased the 33rd FW’s multi-capable Airmen, utilizing the expertise of the personnel to generate aircraft operations successfully, meeting the Air Force initiative of agile combat employment (ACE).

“I was amazed by the willingness and desire from our Airmen to go the extra mile making sure we got all required syllabus training to deliver F-35A pilots to the Combat Air Forces,” said Emerson.