Ohrid St. Paul The Apostle Airport, North Macedonia --
Meet U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Jack Murren, an intel analyst assigned to the 175th Operations Group, Maryland Air National Guard. Murren recently deployed to North Macedonia in support of Swift Response, Murren was tasked with developing exercise scenarios for the A-10C Thunderbolt II pilots that challenged their skills and helped prepare them for future combat deployments.
“Now that we are in place we are going to make each day as real-world as possible by conducting training scenarios that mimic the battlefield,” said Murren. “We will create notional threats and when pilots are in the air they will practice reacting to those threats while achieving their assigned mission.”
During Swift Response, Murren and the A-10 pilots worked with joint terminal attack controllers from the United Kingdom who determined whether the actions the pilots took were effective or not.
While participating in Swift Response, Murren said he hoped that he will have a lasting impact on the A-10 pilots of the 104th Fighter Squadron in the case of the unit activating for a combat deployment.
“Through this training I think that they [the A10 pilots] expand a knowledge bank of threat characteristics,” explained Murren. “Every threat is unique in that it has vulnerabilities that should be exploited differently. If pilots are not exposed to those threats until they are in combat they wouldn’t have that large reservoir of knowledge to pull from when responding to them.”
Swift Response 22 is an annual multinational training exercise, which takes place in Eastern Europe, the Arctic High North, Baltics, and Balkans from May 2-20, 2022. The purpose of the exercise is to present combat-credible Army forces in Europe and Africa, and enhance readiness by building airborne interoperability with Allies and Partners and the integration of joint service partnership.