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ANG director visits 137th SOW

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Brigette Waltermire
  • 137th Special Operations Wing

The 137th Special Operations Wing hosted Lt. Gen. Michael A. Loh, director of the Air National Guard, during a visit to Will Rogers Air National Guard Base (WRANGB), Oklahoma City, April 14.

Loh flew a one-hour mission on the U.S. Air Force MC-12W that simulated finding a high-value asset while working in the same airspace as multiple aircraft and with a U.S. Army assault force.

“The crew on board the aircraft were stressed just like they would be overseas with multiple radios coming in and multiple players in the stack of aircraft,” Loh said. “It was very coordinated and there was clear, concise communications between crew members.”

Captain Jose Hernandez-Chapa, a 137th SOW MC-12W pilot, who also works as an action officer for the ANG director’s action group, said all WRANGB squadrons were represented during the training flight.

"Our aim was to show the capabilities of the MC-12W and how it is linked in joint environments to enable a total force infrastructure,” Hernandez-Chapa said. "[Loh] saw our professionalism and the standard we train to, as well as the training capabilities that surround the base complex.”

Another example of the realistic training environments observed by Loh was an Air Combat Command-certified C-130 static aeromedical evacuation trainer used by Airmen of the 137th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron. The evacuation trainer was most recently used in a knowledge exchange with doctors from the Azerbaijan Operational Capabilities Concept Battalion coordinated through the Oklahoma National Guard's State Partnership Program (SPP).

After the flight, Loh met with commanders and Airmen from around the base to discuss how the 137th SOW regularly integrates with active, guard and reserve components as well as partners with multiple NATO allies and the SPP to provide joint training and collaboration opportunities.

Loh said the 137th SOW’s focus on inter-service and multinational training is a gem many people do not get to see.

"If you look at the new national military strategy, you’ll see that allies and partners are front and center," Loh said. "From a standpoint of being a center of excellence for manned intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platforms with air to ground training capabilities, the most important way the 137th will contribute to the future fight as a special operations force is those military to military engagements."