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PACAF unit wins turkey shoot competition

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  • By Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs
Misawa Airmen shot their way to the top, winning the award for best fighter squadron and wing during a "virtual" air combat exercise flown from simulator cockpits around the globe Sept. 22-26. 

The Air Combat Command-sponsored Turkey Shoot pitted fighter pilots from throughout the combat air forces against overwhelming odds through Distributed Mission perations, a system that allowed flight simulators from throughout the world to be linked together for a virtual war. A Turkey Shoot is a scenario in which one team is outgunned, or otherwise outclassed, to the point of an inevitable loss, but still manages to win.

"It was designed to be the most difficult and dangerous combat mission we would ever see. One in which F-16s and B-1 bombers were tasked to destroy targets defended by droves of highly-advanced enemy fighters and surface-to-air missile systems," said Capt. Lawrence Sullivan, an F-16 pilot with the 13th Fighter Squadron and project officer for the Turkey Shoot. 

"Since everyone had to face the same threats, they could develop a scoring system that would show who the best in the world actually are."

Despite the overwhelming odds they faced, the participating aircrews impressed the event's planners.

"The scores were very close, the competition was intense and the teamwork demonstrated by our aircrews was a remarkable tribute to our Combat Air Force culture of excellence," said Maj. Gen. Frank Gorenc, Air Combat Command Director of Air and Space Operations.

During the week-long event, more than 300 simulated missions were flown, providing participants with 9.1 billion real dollars worth of training.

"With DMO we have a capability that others do not, and we're taking advantage of that at every opportunity we can," said Col. Jay Aanrud, 13th FS commander. "This is a cost-effective method of very realistic training, interaction and briefing and de-briefing that is not available anywhere else in the world."