Gunfighter 18-2: A total fighting force

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class JaNae Capuno
  • 366th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
The 366th Fighter Wing held Gunfighter Flag 18-2, May 21- 24 here, encompassing the Belgian Air Component and Idaho Wing Civil Air Patrol.

The Belgian air force originally came to Mountain Home to train and decided to participate in the exercise to give back to their allies.

“The main reason why we participated, is because when we decided to come here for four weeks of training, Mountain Home Air Force Base did a lot for us,” said Lt. Col. Nico Claessens, BAC detachment commander. “We felt like we had to give something back as well.”

Claessens believes that this Gunfighter Flag will help further newer Airmen in their careers by exposing them to scenarios that will make them better leaders.

“It’s a very nice exercise, and I believe it has a lot of potential,” said Claessens. “It’s a small scale flag exercise, but I think it’s very interesting and it contains all the difficult things people find in a flag. The scenario has a good build-up. It will allow younger people in the squadron to raise the bar a bit to get to a higher level.”

Additionally, Idaho Wing CAP joined the exercise to provide a different training tool to the Gunfighters.

“Gunfighter Flag is important to me on two different levels,” said Col. George Breshears, Idaho Civil Air Patrol Wing Commander. “I support Mountain Home because it gives us that home team advantage. It’s also being able to bring our aircraft into this exercise, because there is a lot of valuable training that we get out of this exercise as well.”

Idaho Wing CAP hopes to continue participating with the Air Force in the future.

“This is a beta test for us, because this is the first Gunfighter Flag that we’re participating in,” Breshears said. “If this training is effective, we want to be invited back to the table and also see this happen in other states.”