Monday, August 11, 2008

FROM THE TOP >> Upcoming ROCKEX

By Col. Mark Vlahos
Greetings, all! In just a little over a week, weíll have our first major base-level exercise or ROCKEX since the Air Education Training Command and Air Mobility Command Operational Readiness Inspections in April. We have several new key leaders on base, and this exercise will give us the opportunity to learn our new jobs and function as a team in a crisis situation. Additionally, we will use this week to validate our responses and help clear some of the Inspector General findings from the ORIs. Both the 314th Airlift Wing and 463rd Airlift Group planners have worked hard to put together realistic scenarios that will both challenge us and create thought-provoking situations. This will be a long, power-packed week that will test us all. During the week, we will generate aircraft, process passengers and cargo for deployment, and also execute a major accident response exercise.
All of us will be engaged during the MARE. No matter where you work-from first responders to the emergency operations center, to the commanders senior staff-we will work as a team as we exercise command and control and respond to the crisis. History has proven that if you prepare for the worst, you will perform well if ever called upon. For this MARE, we will simulate conditions similar to what we may encounter during our fall open house and air show. We will interface with a host of off-base agencies as we respond to the simulated crisis. I donít have to tell you how important this exercise will be.
In the past, Iíve seen all of us spring-loaded to a certain degree as we enter a ROCKEX week. I ask each of you to just treat each day of the ROCKEX as a normal day, utilize checklist discipline and fall back on the great training you have received in your Air Force career. Remember, slow and smooth is fast; safety is paramount in everything we do.
I look forward to leading the team through this ROCKEX. Remember, the purpose of exercising our mission response capabilities is for all of us to learn something and improve our performance. We sink or swim as a team, and everyone contributes. Each day at ďThe Rock,Ē I am amazed at the talent we have here. Itís an honor to serve alongside each and every one of you. Have a great week. Combat Airlift!

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