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Gunfighter 18-2: A total fighting force

A F-15E Strike Eagle taxies to the runway during an exercise, May 23, 2018 at Mountain home Air Force Base, Idaho. Gunfighter Flag 18-2 encompassed both the Belgian Air Component and Idaho Civil Air Patrol. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class JaNae Capuno)

A F-15E Strike Eagle taxies to the runway during an exercise, May 23, 2018 at Mountain home Air Force Base, Idaho. Gunfighter Flag 18-2 encompassed both the Belgian Air Component and Idaho Civil Air Patrol. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class JaNae Capuno)

Airman 1st class Corey Connor, 389th Fighter Squadron crew chief, wraps up a cord during an exercise, May 22, 2018 at Mountain home Air Force Base, Idaho. Gunfighter Flag 18-2 encompassed both the Belgian Air Component and Idaho Civil Air Patrol. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class JaNae Capuno)

Airman 1st class Corey Connor, 389th Fighter Squadron crew chief, wraps up a cord during an exercise, May 22, 2018 at Mountain home Air Force Base, Idaho. Gunfighter Flag 18-2 encompassed both the Belgian Air Component and Idaho Civil Air Patrol. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class JaNae Capuno)

The Gunfighter Flagship F-15E Strike Eagle takes off during an exercise, May 22, 2018 at Mountain home Air Force Base, Idaho. Gunfighter Flag 18-2 encompassed both the Belgian Air Component and Idaho Civil Air Patrol. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class JaNae Capuno)

The Gunfighter Flagship F-15E Strike Eagle takes off during an exercise, May 22, 2018 at Mountain home Air Force Base, Idaho. Gunfighter Flag 18-2 encompassed both the Belgian Air Component and Idaho Civil Air Patrol. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class JaNae Capuno)

Airman 1st class Christian Gerardo, 366th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron weapons load crew member, pulls the chocks from an F-15E Strike Eagle during an exercise, May 22, 2018 at Mountain home Air Force Base, Idaho. Gunfighter Flag 18-2 encompassed both the Belgian Air Component and Idaho Civil Air Patrol. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class JaNae Capuno)

Airman 1st class Christian Gerardo, 366th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron weapons load crew member, pulls the chocks from an F-15E Strike Eagle during an exercise, May 22, 2018 at Mountain home Air Force Base, Idaho. Gunfighter Flag 18-2 encompassed both the Belgian Air Component and Idaho Civil Air Patrol. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class JaNae Capuno)

A Belgian F-16 takes off during an exercise, May 23, 2018 at Mountain home Air Force Base, Idaho. Gunfighter Flag 18-2 encompassed both the Belgian Air Component and Idaho Civil Air Patrol. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class JaNae Capuno)

A Belgian F-16 takes off during an exercise, May 23, 2018 at Mountain home Air Force Base, Idaho. Gunfighter Flag 18-2 encompassed both the Belgian Air Component and Idaho Civil Air Patrol. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class JaNae Capuno)

Capt. Nick Carballo, 391st Fighter Squadron pilot, enters an F-15E Strike Eagle during an exercise, May 23, 2018 at Mountain home Air Force Base, Idaho. Gunfighter Flag 18-2 encompassed both the Belgian Air Component and Idaho Civil Air Patrol. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class JaNae Capuno)

Capt. Nick Carballo, 391st Fighter Squadron pilot, enters an F-15E Strike Eagle during an exercise, May 23, 2018 at Mountain home Air Force Base, Idaho. Gunfighter Flag 18-2 encompassed both the Belgian Air Component and Idaho Civil Air Patrol. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class JaNae Capuno)

Airman 1st Class Dexter Holiday, 366th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron weapons load crew member, pulls the chocks from an F-15E Strike Eagle during an exercise, May 23, 2018 at Mountain home Air Force Base, Idaho. Gunfighter Flag 18-2 encompassed both the Belgian Air Component and Idaho Civil Air Patrol. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class JaNae Capuno)

Airman 1st Class Dexter Holiday, 366th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron weapons load crew member, pulls the chocks from an F-15E Strike Eagle during an exercise, May 23, 2018 at Mountain home Air Force Base, Idaho. Gunfighter Flag 18-2 encompassed both the Belgian Air Component and Idaho Civil Air Patrol. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class JaNae Capuno)

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- 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.”

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