Joint experience helps 33 FW Airman see the big picture

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Daniella Peña-Pavao
  • 33rd Fighter Wing

Getting the opportunity in one’s career to gain joint experience and proficiency that helps enable Airmen to be more lethal and ready to operate in the joint warfighting domain is a focus area for Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein.

For Senior Airman Dat Trinh, a 33rd Operations Group administrative technician, he got the chance to get that early experience with his participation in Exercise Key Resolve, the annual command and control exercise held across the Korean Peninsula Feb. 22 – Mar. 17, 2019.

“It’s a simulated war environment, where (exercise) participants get to put their expertise into practice,” Trinh said. “This exercise affords both U.S. and South Korean service members an opportunity to work side-by-side in the same way they would operate if actually going to war.”

The exercise highlights the partnership between South Korea and U.S. military forces, and their longstanding and enduring friendships committed to the defense of South Korea and regional stability.  The U.S. consistently trains with the South Korean military to ensure they both stay lethal and ready for any incoming attacks.

While in Korea, Trinh worked as part of the four-person exercise directors’ support team.

“I helped them with recall rosters, accountability and anything they asked me to do throughout the duration of the exercise,” Trinh said.

Despite being the most junior staff member on the staff, Trinh was able to do his part in overcoming the challenges that hit the team the first few days of the exercise. Retired U.S. Air Force Brigadier Gen. Barry W. Barksdale, 7th Air Force senior air controller, notes that by the second day of the exercise, Trinh and the other members of the team had gotten everything under control and went head on with the mission.

“If you have the right people, with the right experience, you can often bridge the gap between simulation and realistic training and provide a product that better meets war-fighter requirements,” said Barksdale.

Trinh describes his time in Korea supporting the joint mission as a huge learning experience.

“I’m confident I did my part to make the exercise successful and have no regrets,” said Trinh. “Working with the other services, I also picked up some new skills I can put into my work here at the wing.”