Training exercise tests wings’ combat readiness

Training exercise tests wings’ combat readiness

HILL AIR FORCE BASE — Airmen from the 75th Air Base Wing, 388th Fighter Wing and Reserve 419th Fighter Wing participated in a joint training exercise last week aimed at testing their combat capability.

The three wings demonstrated their ability to prepare, respond and recover from combat situations in a deployed environment, with pilots and maintainers from the fighter wings flying and generating roughly 80 sorties per day, some into the nighttime hours.

Col. Jenise Carroll, 75th ABW commander, applauded the team effort, including the force support, logistic readiness, and medical teams for the support they provide to the base’s warfighters making sure they’re equipped and ready to deploy.

“This air base wing is the underpinning of everything that’s required for our base’s Airmen to forward deploy when called upon to meet the needs of our combatant commanders,” Carroll said.

Personnel from the 419th FW participated in the exercise as part of their yearly annual tour requirement. Most of the wing’s reservists have full-time jobs in the local community and serve their nation part time, training one weekend per month and two weeks per year.

“Conducting an exercise during a pandemic is a very good way to assess the wing’s capabilities in a contested environment,” said Col. Matthew Fritz, 419th FW commander.

The exercise tests the reservists’ readiness and abilities when faced with tasks more frequently than in a normal drill weekend.

“Team Hill is working together to practice as we would play in a deployed environment,” said Col. Steven Behmer, 388th FW commander. “We are a whole team — active duty and reservists — and the work is done seamlessly.”

The base concluded a training exercise last month as well, successfully showcasing its 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.

“The thing that I’m most proud of is making sure that we work together collaboratively,” Carroll said. “Although you have three different leaders, when it comes to making decisions, we make those decisions together, because it’s all about the overall wellness of the installation and our Airmen.”

The installation currently has Airmen deployed to a number of locations around the world.

(The 75th Air Base Wing and 388th Fighter Wing Public Affairs offices contributed to this story.)

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