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54th OSS weather flight conducts first-time field exercise

  • Published
  • By By Airman 1st Class Isaiah Pedrazzini
  • 49th Wing Public Affairs

The 54th Operations Support Squadron weather flight conducted a simulated field exercise for the first time on the Gypsum dunes at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, Jan. 22, 2024.

The 54th OSS is tasked with providing accurate and reliable weather forecasts for all personnel on base.

“Our current field exercise amidst the desert dunes underscores our ability to analyze and respond to real-world weather conditions,” said John Brody, 54th OSS weather flight meteorological technician. “While weather forecasting might appear peripheral to some, it is an integral component of aviation, ground operations, and naval activities.”

The Gypsum dunes on base were an optimal location for the weather flight to conduct their mission whilst relying on limited supplies and gear. This particular exercise gave the weather flight a first-hand perspective at the duties they’d be expected to perform in a deployed environment.

“Our objectives in this exercise encompass honing field skills such as vehicle operation, food and equipment procurement, site selection for weather observation and precise weather forecasting,” said U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Joseph Maloney, 54th OSS weather flight journeyman. “This exercise places significant emphasis on cultivating mission-ready Airmen with a multi-capable skill set.”
The team conducted their exercise in sand dunes on the installation to better understand the desert conditions in the areas surrounding Holloman. Many of the unique environmental factors here could influence the 49th Wing’s mission.
Incorporating other squadrons and units with the weather flight’s own readiness mission allowed operations to run smoothly. Additionally, this training highlighted Holloman’s objective of leading and developing Airmen.
“To secure vital resources for our mission, we liaised with the 49th Force Support Squadron, the 49th Logistic Readiness Squadron, the 54th OSS Range Operations Center, Airfield Management and many others,” said Maloney. “Their support played a crucial role in facilitating our field training exercise.”

Exercises like these are critical to Holloman’s mission. They ensure that not only the weather flight, but other agencies are proficient in all the necessary procedures when the time comes for them to deploy.
“We align ourselves with the Air Education and Training Command's strategy of nurturing world-class Airmen with a specific focus on operational readiness,” said Brody. “Our field training exercise exemplifies the principle of conducting rigorous training that minimizes challenges during actual combat scenarios.”