Battlefield Airmen bear the cold, increase combat capability

Det. 1, 3 ASOS winter FTX

Humvees sit outside the camp for Detachment 1, 3rd Air Support Operations Squadron Airmen during their winter field training exercise (FTX) Nov. 30, 2017, at the Husky drop zone in Interior Alaska. The Humvees were used to transport winter gear and equipment during the FTX. (U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Airman 1st Class Isaac Johnson)

Det. 1, 3 ASOS winter FTX

A U.S. Air Force Tactical Air Control Party (TACP) Airman assigned to Detachment 1, 3rd Air Support Operations Squadron, skis down a hill during a winter field training exercise (FTX) Nov. 30, 2017, at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. Held annually the winter FTX allow TACP Airmen to hone their skills in an arctic environment and improve their combat readiness. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Isaac Johnson)

Det. 1, 3 ASOS winter FTX

A U.S. Air Force Tactical Air Control Party Airman assigned to Detachment 1, 3rd Air Support Operations Squadron, checks a map during a winter field training exercise Nov. 30, 2017, at the Husky drop zone in Interior Alaska. During this portion of the exercise, Airmen were split into teams and spent hours navigating through the frozen forest to reach their target location. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Isaac Johnson)

Det. 1, 3 ASOS winter FTX

U.S. Air Force Airmen with Detachment 1, 3rd Air Support Operations Squadron, hike through the snow during their winter field training exercise Nov. 29, 2017, at the Husky drop zone in Interior Alaska. Airmen spent multiple days outside with minimal time away from the cold to enhance their ability to operate in an arctic environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Isaac Johnson)

Det. 1, 3 ASOS winter FTX

A U.S. Air Force Tactical Air Control Party (TACP) Airman assigned to Detachment 1, 3rd Air Support Operations Squadron, checks his radio during a winter field training exercise Nov. 29, 2017, at the Husky drop zone in Interior Alaska. TACP Airmen work as a liaison between air and ground forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Isaac Johnson)

Det. 1, 3 ASOS winter FTX

U.S. Air Force Airmen with Detachment 1, 3rd Air Support Operations Squadron, set a tent up during their winter field training exercise (FTX) Nov. 29, 2017, at the Husky drop zone in Interior Alaska. During the FTX, Airmen spent multiple days in tents to simulate the conditions of being in an arctic deployed environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Isaac Johnson)

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska --

Working outside when it’s negative 15 degrees, which is cold enough for your eyelashes to frost over, isn’t the ideal environment for most; but for Airmen with Detachment 1, 3rd Air Support Operations Squadron, it’s just another day.

Last week, Det. 1, 3 ASOS completed their winter functional training exercise, where they endured the bone-chilling cold and increased their overall lethality.

“Being able to operate in arctic conditions is a lot different than operating in ideal conditions,” said Staff Sgt. Timothy Cuoto, the Det. 1, 3 ASOS unit training manager. “When it gets that cold equipment and people can break, but you have to push forward.”

With interior Alaska being an extremely harsh and unforgiving environment, it makes for the perfect place to help prepare and hone the capabilities of the Air Force’s elite operators also known as Tactical Air Control Party.

“We went over some different things that some of our guys haven’t seen yet,” said Staff Sgt. Philip Henderson, the Det. 1, 3 ASOS operational training manager. “We were able to cover tactical ground movements, classroom material, familiarization training and some other essentials.”

Commonly embedded with Marine and Army units, TACP Airmen play an important role in ensuring ground and air forces are on the same page.

“This is as close as it gets,” said Henderson. “Right now these Airmen are learning things they’ll need when they’re deployed.”