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Razor Talon provides joint training for air, ground components

Airman 1st Class Seth Elich, 14th Air Support Operations Squadron tactical air control party, listens to communications during exercise Razor Talon, April 7, 2017, at Atlantic Field Marine Corps Outlying Field, North Carolina. Razor Talon was created by the 4th Fighter Wing in March 2011 to prepare and sharpen the skills of aircrew for real-world missions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kenneth Boyton)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Seth Elich, 14th Air Support Operations Squadron tactical air control party, listens to communications during exercise Razor Talon, April 7, 2017, at Atlantic Field Marine Corps Outlying Field, North Carolina. Razor Talon was created by the 4th Fighter Wing in March 2011 to prepare and sharpen the skills of aircrew for real-world missions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kenneth Boyton)

Airman 1st Class Cody Ambrose, 14th Air Support Operations Squadron tactical air control party, watches a C-17 Globemaster III simulate an airdrop during exercise Razor Talon, April 7, 2017, at Atlantic Field Marine Corps Outlying Field, North Carolina. Razor Talon is a monthly joint-force exercise that combines resources from multiple installations across the East Coast and is designed to integrate air, land and sea forces to promote a more cohesive atmosphere between the different military services. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kenneth Boyton)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Cody Ambrose, 14th Air Support Operations Squadron tactical air control party, watches a C-17 Globemaster III simulate an airdrop during exercise Razor Talon, April 7, 2017, at Atlantic Field Marine Corps Outlying Field, North Carolina. Razor Talon is a monthly joint-force exercise that combines resources from multiple installations across the East Coast and is designed to integrate air, land and sea forces to promote a more cohesive atmosphere between the different military services. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kenneth Boyton)

An A-10C Thunderbolt II flies over a group of tactical air control party specialists from the 14th Air Support Operations Squadron during exercise Razor Talon, April 7, 2017, at Atlantic Field Marine Corps Outlying Field, North Carolina. More than 10 aircraft from multiple bases participated in Razor Talon. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kenneth Boyton)

A U.S. Air Force A-10C Thunderbolt II flies over a group of tactical air control party specialists from the 14th Air Support Operations Squadron during exercise Razor Talon, April 7, 2017, at Atlantic Field Marine Corps Outlying Field, North Carolina. More than 10 aircraft from multiple bases participated in Razor Talon. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kenneth Boyton)

SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. -- The opposing force scurried around the arid airfield to prepare for an oncoming attack. Without warning, a pair of A-10C Thunderbolt IIs screamed toward the airfield and simulated multiple strafing runs decimating a radar jammer.

A tactical air control party specialist embedded with the 82nd Airborne Division from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, confirmed the target was destroyed from a hideout in the woods nearby.

A C-17 Globemaster III from Charleston Air Force Base, South Carolina, flew out of the clouds overhead and delivered simulated support of 82nd Abn. Div. members who would parachute to the ground and take over the airfield by any means necessary.

Within a short amount of time, American forces gained control of the airfield and exercise Razor Talon continued.

“Razor Talon is an integral part of training,” said Capt. Dan Lusardi, a 75th Fighter Squadron A-10C pilot. “As an A-10 pilot, we rarely have a chance to practice with other branches and have our capabilities fully utilized. It’s rare we practice both air-to-ground and air-to-air procedures, especially at the same time.”

Lusardi added this type of training not only sharpens pilots’ tactics, techniques and procedures but also allows them to work better with other military branches during real world operations.

Maj. Mike Malone, the 
Razor Talon chief officer in charge, said one of the main objectives of the exercise is to help Airmen better integrate with other branches and other aircraft.

“We want to integrate all military personnel, so we can synchronize our effects and continue to dominate our adversaries as a unified fighting force,” 
Malone said.

Twenty-one aircraft supported this Razor Talon. Each aircraft played a pivotal role in the success of the exercise.

Fourteen of the aircraft were Seymour Johnson AFB F-15E Strike Eagles, which were tasked to simulate the destruction of ground targets. Four F-22 Raptors from Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, fought simulated opposing forces in the air and on the ground, and two A-10s from Moody AFB, Georgia, provided close air support for ground forces.

“In a real-world environment, there are a lot of moving parts,” Malone said. “Razor Talon allows us to join forces and use those moving parts at a good pace in a safer environment.”