Andersen prepares for Valient Shield

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- F-15E Strike Eagles from the 90th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron taxi to their parking spots on Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. Deployed from Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, the 90th EFS is participating in exercise Valiant Shield 2006. Valiant Shield begins June 19 and lasts through June 23, and will be conducted in the vicinity of Guam. Valiant Shield focuses on integrated joint training among US military forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Michael Dorus)

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- F-15E Strike Eagles from the 90th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron taxi to their parking spots on Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. Deployed from Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, the 90th EFS is participating in exercise Valiant Shield 2006. Valiant Shield begins June 19 and lasts through June 23, and will be conducted in the vicinity of Guam. Valiant Shield focuses on integrated joint training among US military forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Michael Dorus)

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- Air Force bombers, fighters, tankers and support aircraft from the Pacific theater are arriving and making preparations to participate in Valiant Shield 2006. 

The U.S. Pacific Command exercise, which begins June 19 and lasts through June 23, will be conducted in the vicinity of Guam. Valiant Shield focuses on integrated joint training and interoperability among U.S. military forces while responding to a range of mission scenarios. 

“Valiant Shield 2006 exercises the military's ability to rapidly bring together joint forces in response to any regional contingency,” said Col. Robert Wheeler, 36th Expeditionary Operations Group commander. “It is a rare opportunity to bring together platforms that normally do not regularly exercise together, such as B-2 bombers and carrier strike groups, to ensure an integrated American air, sea, land, space and cyberspace force capable of an overwhelming and decisive response in any future contingency.” 

While more than 275 aircraft will participate in Valiant Shield. Approximately 80 including B-2 and B-52 bombers, F-15C, F-15E, F-16CJ and F/A-18 fighters; E-3 airborne and control aircraft and KC-10 and KC-135 tankers will fly from Andersen to conduct sorties in various simulated exercise events. To prepare for these operations pilots from various units are preparing for the events. 

“We have been studying the academics of the exercise,” said Lt. Col. Colin Wright, 90th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron commander. “During this exercise, we will be leading the way for the F-15 community in air interdiction of maritime targets, which is an emerging skill set for F-15Es. We are excited and dedicated to performing our best.” 

In addition to the many Air Force flying units, the Navy’s USS Kitty Hawk carrier strike group, USS Ronald Reagan carrier strike group, and USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group, including the embarked air wings, are participating with 1st Marine Aircraft Wing and the U.S. Coast Guard in Valiant Shield 2006. 

“This type of training provides a unique opportunity for these forces to work together in a maritime environment and to enhance operational proficiency,” said Colonel Wheeler. “With the vast distances of the Pacific Ocean, integrated air and seapower is essential for immediate response to any contingency. Training together during exercises such as Valiant Shield 2006 refines PACOMs ability to present a seamless joint force to supported and supporting commanders.”