HILL AIR FORCE BASE — Airmen in the 75th Air Base Wing at Hill Air Force Base concluded a Phase 1 exercise this week, successfully showcasing the wing’s ability to deploy at a moment’s notice.
The Air Force routinely holds such exercises, which tests a unit’s overall readiness including its ability to get Airmen and cargo out the door to a deployed location.
“This readiness exercise is different because we are working under COVID-19,” said Tim Stone, 75th Air Base Wing inspector general. “There isn’t any written guidance that outlines how long it should take to deploy all readiness committed base personnel while protecting them from the real-world virus.”
He said safety is always paramount, but during this pandemic some essential steps were added to protect team members including wiping down surfaces and maintaining social distance between personnel while meeting scheduled timelines.
Next month, Airmen will participate in a Phase 2 exercise to demonstrate wing’s ability to prepare, respond and recover from combat situations in a deployed environment.
Command, control, and communication will be emphasized during Phase 2. In addition, Airmen will respond to chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive incidents, rehearse self-aid and buddy care, and run through other essential combat skills.
Stone said it’s a team effort from air base wing leadership, as well as members of the inspection, force support, medical and logistics readiness teams, to pull together all the training requirements for these exercises.
“A significant amount of data is gained from conducting Phase 1 and 2 exercises,” he said. “They give commanders the ability to assess and perfect procedures so the wing is ready to forward deploy to meet the needs of combatant commanders.”