by Senior Airman Ned T. Johnston
6th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
3/6/2015 - MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- The
Joint Communications Support Element kicked off their annual exercise
Warrior Spirit March 2 through March 6, 2015, on MacDill Air Force Base,
The JCSE is an elite, specially trained group of communications experts
with the unique mission to provide immediate deployment support to
regional combatant commands within 72 hours, facilitating a full
spectrum of global operations. They are among the first boots on the
ground setting up forms of communications in U.S. Central Command and
U.S. Africa Commands' area of responsibility.
"We're doing this training to make sure our teams are ready for whatever
might come their way the next time they deploy," said Army Sgt. 1st
Class Christopher Miller, JCSE troop sergeant. "Warrior Spirit is an
awesome training tool, but it also gives us a way to gauge where the
teams might need additional training."
Warrior Spirit started with two physical days, meant to tear the teams
down physically and mentally and simulate the fatigue they would feel
from long hours in a deployed location.
Teams completed numerous ruck marches, a 1.5-mile log carry, multiple
laps rowing a boat through the waters of Hillsborough Bay, low crawl and
buddy carry scenarios, an obstacle course, and shooting sequences to
test weapon proficiencies.
The exercise continued the next day with members of the JCSE conducting
technical training at two simulated remote locations. As one team setup
their equipment on the base's shoreline, another team traveled by boat
to a secluded island to test their rapid-deployment capabilities and
ability to communicate worldwide using two-way satellite and radio
"This portion of the exercise is the most important part by far; making
sure that these teams can stand up communications from remote locations
is the heart of our mission," stated Miller.
Finishing the exercise, the element came together for a day of team
building by completing a 65-foot-tall ropes course and group exercises
that tested unit cohesion.
"In the end, the teams learned that they could push themselves to do
things that they thought were impossible," said Miller. "They worked
hard and got the mission done together. They're ready for whatever comes