TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --
Tyndall Air Force Base is home to Silver Flag, one of three training sites in the Air Force for Rapid Airfield Damage Recovery. This training allows students from different Air Force specialties to develop their skills further by learning to repair airfields after combat damage.
The purpose of RADR training is to ensure the mission can be quickly executed after the airfield becomes compromised due to explosives.
“The RADR training platform allows the airfield to be recovered faster and more efficiently by creating a semi-permeant repair,” said Master Sgt. Bryan Rosburg, 823rd Red Horse Squadron heavy repair contingency training section chief. “Explosives used during demonstrative operations create
s realistic airfield damage craters for students to repair using this newly acquired skill set.”
Silver Flag operates 17 classes per year out of Tyndall, which means the 823rd RHS
' explosive team, nicknamed the “Dirt Boyz”, conduct 17 explosive operations per year with up to 14 craters being created per class using M112 composition C4 explosive.
The 10-day training class mimics a real deployed setting to give Airmen a realistic experience as they learn how to repair an airfield.
“Silver Flag provides airmen with expeditionary training in a contingency environment, with a focus on base bed down, sustainment and post attack recovery,” said Master Sgt. Matthew Hayes, 148th Fighter Wing Civil Engineering operations manager assigned to Duluth Air National Guard Base, Minnesota. “Students arrive at a bare base location, are issued meals ready-to-eat (MRE) and sleep in tents on cots.”
Rosburg said the training is also important for joint readiness because it allows for Airmen who are active duty, reserve, and guard to train together in an environment preparing them for real-world operations.
“Airmen who aren’t familiar with one another come together to hone functional area contingency operations in a realistic and integrated environment for upcoming deployments,” said Rosburg. “This allows students to conduct and meet all Wartime Training Standards established by the enterprise while ensuring Airmen from different parts of the Air Force come together to train like we fight.”
Silver Flag’s RADR training directly supports contingency training for 23 Air Force specialties and over 3,000 total force Airmen each year. This impacts mission readiness for nine MAJCOMs supporting six unified combatant commands.