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Tactical Fighter Weaponry [TFW]

Air Bases in Denmark are the site of NATO training exercise Tactical Fighter Weaponry [TFW]. The two-week annual Danish invitational live-fly exercise is aimed at training and exercising NATO forces, which emphasizes conventional offensive and defensive operations in a joint combat scenario.

On 12 September 1999 ten F-15 Eagle fighter jets left Otis for Karup, Denmark. There the planes of the Missouri Air National Guard 131st Fighter Wing participated with NATO partners in the annual Danish exercise "Tactical Fighter Weaponry."

The lead mission Crew Commander during exercise TACTICAL FIGHTER WEAPONRY 2000 led operations in generating over 36 million dollars of equipment, managed control of over 90 aircraft and directed 6 surface-to-air missle batteries, the most ever for an Air Control Squadron. This resulted in 455 target aircraft kills, another Air Force record. The installation of a special air-to-ground radio and antenna enabled first-time radio communication of aircraft spanning 11 countries for NATO exercise Tactical Fighter Weaponry '00. An innovative antenna configuration for optimum high frequency radio signal propagation enhanced the range between airborne warning and control systems and ground based units.

Eight 23rd Fighter Squadron F-16 Fighting Falcons and 150 airmen from Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, arrived at Air Base Aalborg Aug. 17 to support the annual Tactical Fighter Weaponry-01 exercise. The Spangdahlem contingent joined F-15 Eagles and airmen from the Oregon Air National Guard's 142nd Fighter Wing, along with airmen from the 603rd Air Control Squadron at Aviano AB, Italy, the 723rd Aerospace Medical Squadron from Ramstein AB, Germany, and KC-135 Stratotankers and airmen from the 100th Air Refueling Wing at Royal Air Force Mildenhall, England.

A naval exercise, DanEx, takes place at the same time as TFW-01, which involves members of the Danish, German and U.S. navies. There is potential for the 23rd FS pilots to get tasked to attack some of the naval ships during the first week of the TFW-01 exercise. The exercise scenario was conducted all over Denmark, the North Sea, Baltic approaches and Southern Norway.

The 23rd FS brought 78 bombs to drop on the Tranum and Oksboel ranges. Chaff and flares will also be used during air-to-air engagements. Chaff affects the radar picture, while flares protect against heat-seeking missiles by acting as decoys. They dropped 500-pound inert bombs, simulating a combat load. The squadron also flew air-to-air and suppression-of-enemy-air-defenses missions throughout the exercise giving us a good opportunity to train with and against Danish counterparts.

In Germany, US fighters can't employ chaff and flares. Here they can train the way we would fly in combat. Chaff clutters up the radar, giving a presentation of what pilots would actually see if this was the real deal.

The scenario gives offensive and defensive training. Each day an air tasking order comes down from the Combined Air Operations Center, giving the pilots the tasks for the following day. It teaches crews to work in a total-force concept, like in the air expeditionary force deployments. Here they get to fight not only with the Air National Guard, but also with NATO assets. In Germany, crews get used to doing the same thing, seeing the same ranges and flying in the same environment. Here they see something different.

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