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Aviators sharpen skills during joint training

20 Jan 2015 | Cpl. J. R. Heins 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing

During the past two years, naval aviators with Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 3 have joined members of the Air Force to execute quarterly joint-service training, known as Razor Talon.

The exercise is held at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C., where VMAQ-3 exercises their electronic warfare capabilities to help support the Air Force’s tactical command and control.

According to Capt. Colton G. Bowser, Razor Talon is a two-day exercise consisting of planning, coordinating and executing a notional mission in conjunction with Air Force operations planners.
“Each exercise has a different overall mission,” said Bowser, a native of Kansas City, Mo. “Normally, we support the different aircraft the Air Force has using our electronic warfare capabilities.”
During Razor Talon, Air Force pilots fly the F-15E Strike Eagle and the F-16 Fighting Falcon for simulated air-to-surface attacks.

“The Prowler’s electronic warfare capabilities allow the fighters to get closer to targets for more effective attacks, drastically dropping the chances of a friendly aircraft taking fire,” said Bowser.

According to Bowser, conducting joint missions gives Air Force planners better understanding of how to employ the Marine Corps assets in a joint environment.

Each quarterly exercise is complex, dynamic and diverse. The joint training is imperative to help VMAQ-3 Marines prepare for possible joint operations, said Capt. Scott Wilder, an electronic countermeasures officer with the squadron.

“Planning and coordination are how we prepare our Marines for real world operations,” said Wilder a native of Yorba Linda, Calif. “The aircrew benefits by experiencing the first-hand short falls and friction points of planning and coordination and the experience and capabilities to forecast potential problems.”

According to Wilder, VMAQ-3 constantly looks for opportunities to integrate and prepare for operations within a joint force environment.

“There is no substitute for this type of training,” said Wilder. “There is no standalone training or simulation that can bring this level of complexity and challenge like large force exercises can.”
2nd Marine Aircraft Wing