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Cannon Airmen test mission readiness at Vandenberg AFB

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Lane T. Plummer
  • 27th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs

The exercise helped enhance Airmen and U.S. Coast Guardsmen abilities on personnel recovery operations as well as live-fire training in an open-ocean environment.


An FMP is an exercise that integrates multiple airframes, usually involving a ground controller and other services, all serving to complete the same mission and learn how to operate more efficiently together.


The exercise began with water-based training, as Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape specialists from Cannon coordinated with Coast Guardsmen off the coast of Oxnard, Calif., to test readiness on several mission abilities.


“[I gained] a further depth of knowledge and understanding of not only the Air Force’s capabilities, but the Coast Guard’s as well,” said one of the SERE specialists.


The challenges tasked for these professionals to complete were complementary to their day-to-day work.


“I think exercises such as this one are challenging and extremely beneficial,” a SERE specialist said. “They continuously show us why SERE training is so important and beneficial to the mission of the Air Force.”


The rest of the week transitioned gradually from water to air, as Cannon pilots tested their ability to spot assets in the water, then pushed themselves during combat training exercises using the AC-130W Stinger IIs.


“For us, the purpose of this FMP was to refine our tactics, techniques and procedures for operations in a maritime environment,” said Lt. Col. Michael Murphy, 16th Special Operations Squadron director of operations.


According to Murphy, his unit’s overall goal was to “instruct what is required for the decentralized execution of airpower in a near-peer conflict.”


No matter where the training took place, be it in the water or in the air, Cannon Airmen truly backed up the “any place, anytime, anywhere” spectrum of the Air Force Special Operations Command mission.