Nebraska ANG participates in Ample Strike 2021

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PARDUBICE, Czech Republic- Air National Guard Airmen from Nebraska and Texas participated in exercise Ample Strike 2021 with the Czech Air Force and 7 NATO countries in the Czech Republic from Sept. 6-18, 2021.

Ample Strike 2021 is a Czech Republic-led, multi-national live exercise that provides increased proficiency levels in NATO standardization and interoperability of close air support, air land integration, and aerial refueling for Joint Terminal Attack Controllers and aircrews in various training areas across the southern region of the Czech Republic.

“We were there to support our partners and provide air refueling to extend their operations,” said Maj. Tyler Sandberg, KC-135 exercise liaison officer, 155th ARW, Nebraska ANG. “By doing this we enhance NATO collaboration, and synergy while receiving our annual overseas training.”

During the exercise, aircraft and participants conducted day and night operations to improve NATO ally interoperability in simulated highly-contested environments, and offered advanced Air/Land Integration Training to JTACs in coordination with MQ-9 Reaper aircraft from the Texas ANG 147th Attack Wing and F-15E Strike Eagle aircraft.

In addition, the exercise allowed Nebraska and Texas to strengthen their shared State Partnership with the Czech Republic.

“This is a great opportunity to build relationships with our State Partners here in the Czech Republic,” said Sandberg. “We get to build that familiarity and, in turn, become more comfortable operating over here with one another.”

The State Partnership Program links a state's National Guard with the armed forces or equivalent of a partner country in a cooperative, mutually beneficial relationship. SPP has been successfully building relationships for over 25 years and now includes 84 partnerships with 89 nations around the globe.

The 155th ARW enhanced interoperability by bringing KC-135R Stratotankers to provide aerial refueling to F-15E Strike Eagles from the 48th Fighter Wing, RAF Lakenheath, England, that provided support to JTACs on the ground.

Capt. J.H., chief of air operations, Czech Air Force, lauded the teamwork involved by all the nations during the exercise saying, “Fourteen JTAC teams from nine NATO member states performed a total of 889 aircraft targeting during the exercise and crews of more than 20 airplanes and helicopters spent a total of 450 hours in the airspace of the Czech Republic.

The Ample Strike exercise director emphasized the importance of tanker operations during the exercise.

“Without the effort, focus and dedication of pilots and operators of KC-135 Stratotankers, we wouldn’t be able to provide almost 40 flying hours and more than 150 hot and dry controls in favor of the Ample Strike exercise,” said Czech Air Force COL Aleš Cápal, exercise director.“Eventually, I would like to highly appreciate the work done by personnel of both the 155th and 185th ARWs, who were the key assets of this exercise--particularly in the military areas of Boletice and Bechyně.”

Events like Ample Strike provide vital opportunities, not only for multiple U.S. services to work together, but also for integrated, total force training with Reserve and National Guard units and partner nations’ militaries to ensure interoperability.