117 ARW Participates in Southern Strike
By Staff Sgt. Jim Bentley, 117th Air Refueling Wing, Public Affairs
/ Published January 29, 2019
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. --
The 117th Air Refueling Wing participated in Exercise Southern Strike above the Gulf of Mexico earlier this month.
KC-135R Stratotankers from the 117 ARW refueled F-22 Raptors and F-35 Stealth Fighters that were simulating tactical dogfights.
Southern Strike is a Joint Force Exercise hosted annually by the Mississippi Air National Guard. The event provides an opportunity to engage in realistic scenarios modeled after the training objectives of the participants.
“This is exactly how we would operate if we were in a deployed environment,” said Capt. Sam Kniskern, from the 106th Air Refueling Squadron.
The scenarios are designed based on crises currently encountered or anticipated worldwide.
“They would already have their set areas where they’re practicing their Combat Air Patrols or Close Air Support, and we would take off from our base, fly over to a set point we’ve already coordinated where we’d give them the gas.”
Combat Air Patrol is the aerial defense of a given area from hostile aircraft, and Close Air Support refers to aerial strikes on targets that are close to friendly forces.