New Hampshire Airmen demonstrate readiness in 4-day exercise

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Timothy Huffman,
  • 157th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

PEASE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, N.H. – More than 150 Airmen from the 157th Air Refueling Wing participated in an extensive readiness exercise May 12-15.

The exercise tested the wing’s ability to mobilize, deploy and operate in a simulated wartime environment. A team of inspectors general from Pease Air National Guard Base and Air Mobility Command evaluated the wing’s performance.

“The IG’s mission is to evaluate the wing’s readiness and ensure they can successfully deploy and operate forces in a contested environment,” said Lt. Col. Scott Treadwell, the inspector general of the 157th ARW. “AMC validates our exercise to ensure we are capable of running exercises in the future.”

The event started with a mobility line, where base agencies ensured each Airman met medical and military readiness standards. Exercise participants then deployed by bus to the on-base play area, where they spent the next few days operating in a simulated wartime environment.

During the mock deployment, Airmen demonstrated their ability to survive and operate while under attack by enemy forces. Inspectors evaluated everything from how Airmen performed their day-to-day jobs and responded to wartime inputs, such as donning chemical warfare gear and gas masks, performing sweeps for unexploded ordnance, and providing battlefield care to the wounded.

Senior Airman Matthew Black, a 157th Security Forces Squadron defender, said after the exercise and lead-up training, he was confident in the wing’s ability to operate in a wartime environment. He also said it was an opportunity to build stronger bonds with his wingmen.

“Sitting out here, it’s not really a lot of fun, but you’re with other Airmen building relationships,” he said.

The exercise used the wing’s KC-46A Pegasus, with aerial porters loading cargo before the jet and aircrew departed for Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, Michigan. Upon the aircraft’s return the following day, the aircrew demonstrated their ability to exit the jet into a chemical warfare scenario.

The Airmen faced more than 120 mission-based scenarios and proved the 157th is ready to operate in adverse environments.

“Our requirement is to get out of the door in 72 hours,” said Col. John Pogorek, the 157th ARW commander. “We trained on it, we exercised it, and I’m confident that if we had to do it today, we could.”