Military News

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

JBLE completes deployment readiness exercise

by By Senior Airman R. Alex Durbin
633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

9/1/2015 - JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. -- U.S. Service members completed a Phase I Deployment Readiness Exercise at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, Aug. 24-28, 2015.

The exercise, which took place over the course of the week, simulated a mass deployment of the 633rd Air Base Wing and assessed its ability to rapidly deploy to an expeditionary environment within 72 hours following notification to deploy orders.

"This exercise provided an objective look at how the 633rd ABW can deploy," said U.S. Air Force Capt. Matt Cherry, 633rd ABW Inspector General Office director of inspections. "It painted a picture of how well JBLE can rapidly deploy and project Air Power around the world at a moment's notice."

The exercise was part of an initiative directed by 9th Air Force to test each of its subordinate wings' capability to rapidly deploy to support combatant commanders and contingency operations across the globe, and ensure the units' Airmen are ready when called upon.

"The American people rely on us to [deploy] efficiently and in a cost-effective manner, and to provide combat air power anywhere in the world within a limited time frame," said Cherry. "This exercise allowed us to test that ability."

According to Cherry, the exercise mainly focused on evaluating the command, communication and control procedures within the wing.

"We hope to eliminate redundancies and waste and increase our efficiency," said Cherry.  "This evaluation gave us a view on our [Command, Control, and Communications] procedures for once it comes time for JBLE to stand up and move a large number of troops to [a deployed] area of responsibility."

According to 1st Lt. Michael Ricci, 633rd Logistic Readiness Squadron alternate installation deployment officer, the exercise provided an important opportunity for Airmen of all levels to gain experience and familiarity with the procedures and operations they may one day undertake.

"If you're not exercising, you're going to have the 'deer in the headlights' look when something happens," said Ricci. "Having exercises [like this] helps make sure our Airmen know what to do and are ready for when something happens. There are always going to be curveballs, so if you know what to do when everything goes perfectly, you'll be able to adapt and overcome those issues when they arise."

While the exercise provided an opportunity for Langley Airmen to practice mass deployment procedures, the 633rd ABW inspection team scheduled the exercise to capitalize on an opportunity to pair with a Fort Eustis mission partner, the Joint Task Force - Civil Support, which also simultaneously conducted a rapid deployment exercise.

JTF-CS is U.S. Northern Command's standing operational joint task force headquarters comprised of more than 200 military and civilian personnel responsible for planning, anticipating and conducting immediate and decisive chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear consequence management response operations in support of civil authorities in the United States and its territories and possessions.

According to Ricci, partnering with JTF-CS gave 633rd ABW Service members the opportunity to test themselves in a facet not often evaluated at Langley.
"JTF-CS has unique cargo Langley Airmen usually don't see in the 633rd Air Base Wing," said Ricci. "One of our missions is to support our mission partners across JBLE, including JTF-CS. This [exercise] provided another level to help our Airmen train. This diversity will help our Airmen deal with real world scenarios they may see in the future."

While working with JTF-CS provided Airmen with diverse hands-on knowledge, Ricci said the partnership gave them an invaluable experience.

"This exercise gave our Airmen a bigger look [at our mission]. We're not just Langley or Fort Eustis; we support our mission partners who have very important missions," he said. "This exercise opened up their eyes and showed them it's not just the Air Force that has to be ready."

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