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Army missile range commander visits Holloman Airmen

by Staff Sgt. Sanjay Allen
49th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

2/23/2010 - HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. (AFNS) -- The commanding general of the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico visited here Feb. 12 to experience air-to-air fighter training and the remotely piloted aircraft training program firsthand.

Army Gen. John Regan started his day pulling six G's (force of gravity) over White Sands Missile Range where they had to defend a simulated base from being bombed by aggressor aircraft by conducting air-to-air evasive maneuvers.

"It was just extraordinary going up for the T-38 (Talon) flight," the general said. "It was really, really special. The Army guys told me not to eat anything, and the pilots told me to eat something because they wanted me to taste it again."

General Regan was able to walk through a pilot's day and experience what they do through the course of a typical flying mission.

"I got really good insight into how it's both coordinated in a safety perspective and also a tactical perspective," he said. "There are such exceptional, high-quality people across the board. The pilots, with what they do -- controlling the aircraft, controlling the weapons systems that are in the aircraft and their situational awareness with the other aircraft -- was just really exceptional. Something I will never forget."

As part of preparing for the flight and his overall visit, the general met with many 49th Fighter Wing Airmen from across Holloman Air Force Base and commented on the Air Force's RPA training mission.

"It's a growing capability both inside the Air Force and across the (Department of Defense)," he said. "It's an extraordinary capability. They go right from training into the theater just because there is such an urgent need."

The White Sands Missile Range commander also said it brings a great capability to the combatant commander and the nation because of its dwell capability and ability to carry weapons.

General Regan's visit showcased the close relationship between the two bases and their commitment to each other and the future of the military in the region.

"We're really close neighbors and both have the same goal in mind, overall, which is to maximize the effectiveness of this region for the department so I think we work very close together," General Regan said. "I think coming over here gave us some insight about how we can work even closer and better in the future. We just have a really great region here and we can continue to maximize the effectiveness for the department. We're a great team."

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