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Texas Guard’s 136th Airlift Wing completes four-day exercise

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Julie Briden-Garcia,
  • 136th Airlift Wing, Texas Air National Guard

FORT WORTH, TX -- The 136th Airlift Wing conducted an operational readiness exercise Feb. 11-15 to assess its strengths and vulnerabilities and ensure a force of combat-ready Airmen.

”The readiness exercise validates units performing their mission essential tasks in a contested, degraded and operationally limited environment,” said Lt. Col. Scott Wedel, 136 AW inspector general. “What made this specific readiness exercise more unique is the inspector general team from Air Mobility Command also completed their midpoint visit.”

Brig. Gen. Gary McCue, principal deputy to the assistant adjutant general for air, Ohio National Guard, visited the wing to assess its capabilities to perform these wartime tasks.

“It’s been a couple years now that we’ve been struggling with the pandemic and not being around people at drills and having hands-on,” said the general. “Now it’s time to get back to what we were doing and get back up on step.”

Hundreds of Citizen-Airmen generated flying sorties, geared up various levels of mission-oriented protective posture equipment, and exercised command and control throughout the wing to flex their readiness skills during the exercise.

The average exercise day spanned about 12 hours. Weather conditions made some training difficult, with temperatures ranging from a low of 28 to near 80 with wind and rain.

“The biggest standout to me was attitudes and energy were as great on [the last day] as they were on [the first day],” Wedel said. “Everyone had a good attitude and did their best to have fun. During their out brief, even the Air Mobility Command inspector general team commented on the positive nature of everyone’s attitude. I think everyone learned something, and although it was a lot of hard work, I think they had some fun along the way.”

“We gained so much more experience and exposure to things we don’t do on a normal basis,” said Tech. Sgt. Suri Perez-Cuellar, 136th Force Support Squadron. “Running through scenarios over and over helped, so that when the time comes, it’s second nature.

“There was a scenario where about three or four things were going on all at once,” she said. “There was a fire in the building, an ‘injured’ man ran in the building asking me for help, but I needed to get my bugout kit (essential survival items) and myself out of the building. It was just so much, I froze for a second, but I was able to react to everything and just think of all the times we had practiced. This helped me get to a point where, from muscle memory, I just knew what needed to be done. That is a good feeling.”