Andersen AFB, Guam—The Air Force intends to reincorporate explosive ordnance disposal into Silver Flag training at Andersen AFB, Guam in Fiscal 2016, Lt. Col. Kevin Mares, the 554th RED HORSE Squadron Det. 1 commander, told Air Force Magazine. The training was part of the curriculum “until about 2000, but due to the high [operations] tempo for EOD airmen, they didn’t have the manpower to support all the deployments [to Afghanistan and Iraq] as well as the training,” Mares told Air Force Magazine at the Silver Flag campus at Andersen this month. Now that combat operations in Afghanistan have wound down and the US presence in the country is getting smaller, EOD is returning to the curriculum because EOD airmen will be a “major part” of the Air Force’s airfield damage repair modernization, said Mares. Exercise Silver Flag, which moved to Andersen from Kadena AB, Japan last year, prepares airmen to operate in expeditionary environments. As part of the expanding Pacific Regional Training Center on Guam, the event trains some 1,200 Air Force engineering and force support students in 13 Air Force specialty codes on subjects from airfield damage repair to bare base electrical layout and reverse osmosis water purification. Beginning in the second quarter of Fiscal 2016, EOD students will be rolled into each of the 10 existing eight-day Silver Flag classes, Mares said.
More than two dozen U.S. Air Force fighters and tankers—including F-35s for the first time—are participating in what U.S. Air Forces in Europe calls the “premier” Nordic aerial exercise over the next two weeks.