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Missouri combat communications Airmen conduct mock deployment exercise

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Phoenix Lietch
  • 131st Bomb Wing Public Affairs

NEVADA, MO -- The 239th Combat Communications Squadron collaborated with multiple 131st Bomb Wing units to prepare members for future deployments by providing real world training scenarios from April 22 to May 2, 2024 at Camp Clark, Nevada, Missouri.

During Exercise Pacific Reign 2024, the 239th set up a training opportunity for their members to establish communications in a simulated deployment setting. Their goal was to set up communications in under 48 hours and maintain the equipment. All the while, they have to adapt and overcome potential challenges they might face on the field. 

“The criticality of the training we do here directly translates to how we have to operate when the time comes when we are real-world deployed.” said U.S. Air National Guard Maj. David Hood, regional site commander, 239th Combat Communications Squadron. 

Airmen were separated into two teams, Red and Blue, for a friendly competition to see who can set up the equipment the fastest in under the 48-hour time limit. During the exercise the Airmen operated under a 24-hour schedule, working 12-hour shifts maintaining communications around the clock. 

Throughout the operations they had to follow the 254th Combat Communications Group employment standards, and adapt to insertions in a level four contested environment where the adversary deliberately attempted to disrupt and destroy operations.  

“We have to be able to operate in a level four contested environment,” said Master Sgt. Kathryn O’Brien, mission planner, 239th Combat Communications Squadron. “To do that, we're going to inject scenarios to create a level four. Some of the injects include weather, logistical issues, cyber activity, political issues, and host nations not being exactly happy that you're there.”

The exercise trained around 80 personnel. Participants in the exercise expanded their skills with the setup and safeguard of expeditionary communications. 

“Grit, resolve, guts, those are my tenets,” said Lt. Col. Stacey Roestel, 239th Combat Communications commander. “In the Air Force we focus a lot on resilience. Furthermore, my personal priority is making sure Airmen make it home alive. That’s why we train for war, to be ready and to have that mindset. We get down in the dirt, build from the ground up, establish communications and help fight our wars.”