179th Airlift Wing conducts Large Scale Exercise
By Staff Sgt. Marc Wilson, 179th Airlift Wing
/ Published September 30, 2021
MANSFIELD, Ohio – Airmen of the 179th Airlift Wing held a large-scale readiness exercise (LRE) during a three day training period in September at Mansfield-Lahm Air National Guard base.
The event offered a variety of war-like simulations and was designed to test how the unit would respond to different scenarios.
A major part of the 179th mission involves remaining ready to operate in any environment and large base wide exercises play a key role in staying prepared.
“The overall goal is to really evaluate readiness and give our commanders and our wing commander the big picture of how the base is doing and finding any kind of hole or areas of improvement that we need to work on...” said 2nd Lt. Brandi Matern, Director of Inspections for the 179th Inspector General office.
Training during the exercise this year included simulated attacks on the base to test security, rapid planning and deployment of assets in degraded operating conditions and the use of Mission Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP) gear used during chemical attacks. Additionally, the exercise tested many aspects of base infrastructure and logistical readiness that included the response by members to events such as loss of power to a certain function and food shortages in the unit. 2nd Lt. Matern stressed the importance for new members of the 179th to practice using Chemical, Biological, Radiological, or Nuclear (CBRN) gear.
“A lot of these airmen that are playing in this LRE are newer airmen so they may not have put on their CBRN gear in training because of COVID or just different daily tasks that we may think that they know what’s going on. It’s just helping them out and kind of building that muscle memory so that way if there is something that goes on that they don’t they don’t have that first experience of putting on CBRN gear or doing their daily tasks in CBRN gear when stuff really does happen”
As the 179th continues to support the C-130 mission, it is critical for local commanders and the Ohio National Guard to have a clear picture of the wing capabilities and the readiness of members to deploy and operate in any environment.
“I know we do it daily and we’ve been doing it a lot this year, just deploying and our extra tasks, but just taking this seriously can really show us what additional training that we really do need for the wing” said 2nd Lt. Matern.