SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. — An Air Force Viper squadron from Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, will be testing its Agile Combat Employment capabilities in Vermont over the next week.
A small contingent assigned to the 20th Fighter Wing’s 55th Fighter Squadron will arrive at the Burlington Air National Guard Base Wednesday with six F-16s and and a C-130 Hercules. They’ll be conducting training missions through June 30, according to a Vermont Air Guard news release.
The aim of the training is to test the Agile Combat Employment capabilities of the Shaw airmen as they work “out of a deployed, simulated remote location with minimal personnel,” according to the release.
The Fighting Falcons will fly integrated offensive counter-air suppression of enemy air defenses (SEAD) missions with F-35A Lightning II aircraft from the Vermont Guard’s 134th Fighter Squadron, 158th Fighter Wing, according to the release.
“The 134th Fighter Squadron is looking forward to training with our wild weasel teammates from Shaw Air Force Base,” said Lt. Col. John MacRae, the 134th Fighter Squadron commander, in the release. “They bring years of SEAD experience and knowledge that will benefit the Green Mountain Boys as we prepare for more advanced 5th generation OCA training near the end of our F-35 conversion.”
The Vermont Air Guard’s routine F-35 flying operations will remain unchanged while training with the 55th Fighter Squadron.
The squadron will be flying missions on Thursday and Friday with morning and afternoon takeoffs, and Monday and Tuesday with morning launches, the Air Force said.