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Ready to roll: 181st IW conducts readiness exercise

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Lonnie Wiram,
  • 181st Intelligence Wing Public Affairs

HULMAN FIELD AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Ind. – The 181st Intelligence Wing completed a two-day exercise that tested its ability to deploy on short notice at Hulman Field Air National Guard Base Dec. 11-12.

The Indiana Air National Guard exercise was part of a wing-wide inspection by the Air Combat Command Inspector General (ACC/IG).

“This UTA (unit training assembly) we are testing three different capabilities on the installation,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Lance A. Hopper, the 181st Mission Support Group commander. “First, we are testing our ability to deploy personnel and cargo to various parts of the world in support of combatant commander requirements within a limited amount of time. Secondly, we are testing the ability of our deployers to operate and fulfill mission requirements in a contested environment, such as during a chemical attack. And finally, we are testing our internal evaluation methods to ensure our Wing Inspection Team (WIT) members are trained and qualified to review our processes and identify areas that we need to improve upon or practice more often.”

Exercise participants included the 181st Logistics Readiness Flight (LRF) and supporting personnel leading the cargo deployment function and the 181st Force Support Squadron personnel leading the personnel deployment function, with additional support from resiliency and readiness functions. The exercise also included personnel evaluating 181st IW capabilities from the WIT and inspectors from the ACC/IG.

“It’s always great to watch agencies that may not work together on a day-to-day basis come together to overcome challenges and accomplish the mission,” said Hopper. “It’s also great to see our Airmen [who] haven’t put on the chem gear since basic training or in quite a few years shake off the CBRNE (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high-yield explosives) rust and get back in the swing of operating in a contested environment.”

Ensuring all units are ready to deploy and execute their missions is integral to the 181st IW’s operations.

“The purpose of doing these readiness exercises [is] to build muscle memory and to keep our skills sharp,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Corrine Foree, 181st LRF commander. When the units on base come together, it is like a patchwork quilt. We couldn’t do this without everyone doing their part. We have a responsibility to the combatant commanders to get our equipment and our trained personnel to the area of responsibility.”

Indeed, exercises like the one demonstrate the 181st IW is ready to support local communities and the state and nation.

“For readiness sake and to make sure the mission happens anywhere in the world at any time, we have these skills and they have to be sharp. We have to be ready to go at a moment’s notice,” said Foree.