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17th Training Group conducts first multi-squadron integration exercise

  • Published
  • By 17th Training Group
  • 17th Training Wing Public Affairs

The 17th Training Group achieved a significant milestone in its efforts to incorporate Joint All Domain Operations into intelligence technical training, conducting the training group’s first multi-squadron integration exercise Sept. 21-24 at Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas. 

First identified in Air Force doctrine during March 2020, JADO consists of operations by the joint force in all domains. Compromised of the air, maritime, cyberspace and space domains, and the electromagnetic spectrum, these domains are integrated into planning and synchronized in execution, at speed and scale needed to gain advantage and accomplish the mission. 

“The goal [to combine effects in all domains to] produce multiple dilemmas for our adversaries in a way that will overwhelm them,” said recently retired Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Goldfein. “To the point where it produces so many dilemmas for our adversaries that they choose not to take us in the first place.”

With this guidance in mind, the 17th Training Wing leadership recognized a strategic imperative to develop integration opportunities connecting Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance, Space, and Cyberspace technical training. 

The critical first step in this process was linking Goodfellow’s two ISR capstone exercises, the 315th Training Squadron’s OPERATION LONE STAR and the 316th Training Squadron’s OPERATION LONE SHARK. Over the course of six weeks, instructors from both squadrons developed three fusion events connecting LONE STAR and LONE SHARK and testing students’ abilities to generate, communicate, and analyze intelligence related to common training objectives.

The 17th Training Support Squadron provided essential work behind the scenes to bring these fusion events from the drawing board to reality. Hardware and network technicians from the 17 TRSS coordinated with the installation of three methods of secure communication systems on each exercise’s operations floor, facilitating the rapid flow of information between the two exercises.

Sept. 21, 2020, students assigned to the 315th and 316th TRS successfully executed the first fusion event, leveraging intelligence generated by cryptologic ISR Airmen in OPERATION LONE SHARK to drive analysis and decision-making by Intelligence Officers and All Source Intelligence Analysts participating in OPERATION LONE STAR. Over the next two days, students completed two additional fusion events reinforcing the importance of timely analysis, communication, teamwork, and decision making. 

“The exercise achieved two distinct successes,” said Capt. David Ertel, 315th TRS integrated exercise flight commander. “The first was having intelligence analysts across two squadrons conducting synchronized problem-centric analysis in multiple domains. The second was disseminating the results of that analysis in real-time to provide decision advantage in the battlespace.”

Moving forward, the two training squadrons will continue to integrate through fusion events whenever OPERATION LONE STAR and OPERATION LONE SHARK’s exercise dates overlap. Furthermore, the teams at OPERATION LONE STAR and OPERATION LONE SHARK have their sights set on integrating Undergraduate Space Training and Undergraduate Cyber Training into future training events. Instructors assigned to the 315th TRS are already working with UST to identify avenues for intelligence analysts participating in OPERATION LONE STAR to provide analysis supporting UST’s capstone exercise. 

“Last week’s multi-squadron integration event is the beginning of a larger effort to on-board our partners in the Space and Cyber Training Wings and establish a holistic JADO foundational exercise," said Ertel. "At the end of that day, if our entry-level officer and enlisted Airmen leave this training event realizing its 'Ops Normal' for them to work with Space, Cyber, or any other Joint component, we’ve made an impact.”