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123rd ACS partners with NATO nations

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Amber Mullen
  • 178th Wing

Four Airmen assigned to the 123rd Air Control Squadron participated in the exercise Lion Effort 2018 Sept. 24-28 in Veszprem, Hungary.

Lion Effort 2018 is a joint nation exercise held to enhance operational and tactical capabilities of the participating nations. The Airmen assigned to the 123rd ACS were responsible for training personnel from four NATO countries on the use of combined air operations between aircraft and ground controllers.

“Our job there was to establish relationships with the partner nations,” said Capt. Patrick Sowell, an air battle manager assigned to the 123rd ACS.

The Airmen trained personnel through academic classroom lessons, mission briefings and simulations. This training focused on identifying threats, increasing engagement ranges, and enhancing lethality.

“The exercise demonstrated our capabilities and showcased our integration with other countries,” said Sowell.

The mentorship the Airmen provided allowed the personnel from participating nations to lead training exercises during Lion Effort 2018. This directly correlated with the success of more than 100 aircraft training missions during the exercise.

The 123rd ACS has been working with NATO countries through the state partnership program for nearly a decade now. This partnership is beneficial to the 123rd ACS and the NATO nations because it enhances NATO interoperability and allows the nations to learn from each other’s skill sets. 

“It was a good opportunity to work with other nations that have the same aircraft and we are really looking forward to working with them in the future,” said Sowell.