Thursday, June 7, 2007

TOP STORY >>Annual training to test Guard unit's skills

By Master Sgt. Bob Oldham
189th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Training for war and preparing for an operational readiness inspection are the focus of this year’s annual training, 189th Airlift Wing officials said.

Beginning Saturday, wing members better have their war game faces on.

Wing members will jump right into a deployment scenario that will last for three days. The exercise will be followed by an intense schedule of ancillary and war skills training. “We’re about a year away from our operational readiness inspection,” said Col. Dwight Balch, 189th Airlift Wing commander. “This is the perfect chance to fine tune our deployment processes. We might have some rough spots, but this will give us about a year to smooth those out so that we’ll shine when the ORI inspectors arrive.”

Just like last year, units will compete for commander cup points in various events, including a temper tent contest, pistol and rifle assembly and a fitness competition.

The first three days of annual training will be intense, said Lt. Col. Rick Oxner, 189th Mission Support Group deputy commander. The colonel said the deployment exercise will be event driven, meaning the next scenario won’t occur until the previous one is completed.

If tasks are completed in a timely manner, Airmen in the field will get to their bunks earlier in the evening.
If tasks take longer, it could make for a long day and night.

Those who “deploy” will spend two nights in the field on Saturday and Sunday nights. Monday afternoon is when they are scheduled to return to their duty sections.

While Airmen are in the field, others will be expected to help support the exercise through logistical support and by playing aggressor roles.


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