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First 2018 command-wide exercise identifies key lessons

Airmen participate in exercise at Eglin

Airman 1st Class Jeremiah Harvey, 96th Security Forces Squadron, tightens his gas mask during a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive training exercise at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, Feb. 1, 2018. The Airmen were taught the proper procedures before executing the tactics by themselves during the command-wide exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

Survive & operate

Teams of Airmen secure new M8 chemical detection paper during a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive training exercise at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., Feb. 1. The Airmen were taught the proper procedures during the week-long event before executing the tactics by themselves during the exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

Face of the force

Airman Amanda Danforth, 96th Security Forces Squadron, talks with another Airman during a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive exercise at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., Feb. 1. The exercise evaluated the Airmen’s ability to meet wartime and contingency taskings of employing and sustaining the force and the ability to survive and operate. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

Survive & operate

Airmen lift simulated wounded victim on a stretcher during a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive exercise at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., Feb. 1. The exercise evaluated the Airmen’s ability to meet wartime and contingency taskings of employing and sustaining the force and the ability to survive and operate. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

Face of the force

Master Sgt. Katrina Medley, 96th Security Forces Squadron, looks out from the doorway of her facility during a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive exercise at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., Feb. 1. The exercise evaluated the Airmen’s ability to meet wartime and contingency taskings of employing and sustaining the force and the ability to survive and operate. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

Survive & operate

Airman 1st Class Jeffery Welch, 96th Security Forces Squadron, receives some water from his canteen while wearing his M50 gas mask during a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive exercise at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., Feb. 1. The exercise evaluated the Airmen’s ability to meet wartime and contingency taskings of employing and sustaining the force and the ability to survive and operate. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

Face of the force

Master Sgt. Crystal Velez, 96th Comptroller Squadron, listens to commands from the radio during a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive exercise at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., Feb. 1. The exercise evaluated the Airmen’s ability to meet wartime and contingency taskings of employing and sustaining the force and the ability to survive and operate. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

Survive & operate

A group of Airmen don their protective gear during a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive training exercise at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., Feb. 1. The Airmen were taught the proper procedures during the week-long event before executing the tactics by themselves during the exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

Face of the force

A staff sergeant in protective gear stands ready for the next scenario during a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive exercise at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., Feb. 1. The exercise evaluated the Airmen’s ability to meet wartime and contingency taskings of employing and sustaining the force and the ability to survive and operate. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

Face of the force
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Airman 1st Class William Stevens, 96th Security Forces Squadron, smiles as he peels off his M50 gas mask after the all clear is given during the chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive training exercise at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., Feb. 1. The Airmen were taught the proper procedures during the week-long event before executing the tactics by themselves during the exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- Teamwork, the commitment of Airmen, and ongoing observations of command processes were among the highlights of the week-long exercise that concluded throughout Air Force Materiel Command Feb. 2.

“No exercise is perfect, but this exercise was the perfect opportunity for us to learn,” said Gen. Ellen M. Pawlikowski, AFMC commander.

The recent exercise was the first in a series of forthcoming AFMC-wide training scenarios. Each shares the goal of ensuring the command can execute its responsibilities in support of the Air Force mission to fly, fight and win in all operational situations. All eight of the command’s installations, in addition to Headquarters AFMC, took part in the training.

Command officials identified three key take-aways from the week-long, AFMC-wide exercise that began Jan. 29. They include the following:
 
  • Providing good lessons for the whole Air Force via the command's support to installations, including personnel readiness, preparation for deployment, and uninterrupted operation of AFMC bases when large numbers of Airmen have deployed;
  • Efficiently executing centers' war-planning processes, demonstrated through enhanced aircraft availability and rapid development of new and improved warfighting capabilities; and,
  • Organizations' clearly defined ownership of processes and understanding the command and control relationships within those processes.

The 96th Test Wing was just one of a few AFMC bases to participate with a simulated deployed environment along with chemical and self-aid and buddy care scenarios.

The exercise broadly provided AFMC leaders with the ability to outline and define processes used to plan and manage the transition from peacetime weapon system support to those required to surge and maintain both contingency and wartime support levels.

“Ultimately, we are exercising to ensure we can perform our wartime responsibilities whenever and wherever we’re called upon to do so,” Pawlikowski said.

This focus on readiness aligns with the Secretary of Defense and Air Force senior leadership’s No. 1 priority of restoring full-spectrum readiness.

Pawlikowski said that she witnessed first-hand the teamwork among Airmen – both civilian and military, whether junior or more seasoned – needed to get the job done.

“We have amazing Airmen. They were excited and energized, and it’s rewarding to see that,” she said. “This is exactly what makes our command so great. Our Airmen and this command are the engine that drives the entire Air Force.”

While the general monitored the exercise from Wright-Patterson AFB, AFMC Deputy Commander Maj. Gen. Warren Berry and AFMC Command Chief, Chief Master Sgt. Jason France observed Airmen’s participation at other AFMC installations.

“Our Airmen were excited, committed and asking when they can do this again,” Berry said. “They had such great enthusiasm. We’re extremely proud of each and offer them a huge ‘thanks’ for their great attitude.”

France said that Airmen’s participation in the training showcased great ideas and demonstrated their “adaptive leadership.”


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