DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --
The 317th Airlift Wing began Phase 1 of the Operational Readiness Exercise 18-01 Jan. 22, at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, and completed it Feb. 3, before starting ORE 18-01 Phase 2.
The ORE 18-01 Phase 1 and 2 is a short notice, wing-level exercise designed to validate the 317th AW’s ability to generate C-130J Super Hercules aircraft, deploy combat support personnel and cargo, and demonstrate the 317th AW’s ability to prepare, respond and recover combat situations in a deployed environment.
Phase 1 is broken down into preparation and response. The 317th AW and 7th Bomb Wing received a warning order, Jan. 22, and prepare to deploy order, Jan. 24, to mark the start of ORE 18-01 Phase 1. Through the WARNORD and PTDO, the wing was responsible for providing personnel, aircraft and equipment prior to the drop of the exercise order on Jan. 30.
Throughout Phase 1, the 317th AW and 7th BW Inspector General’s office evaluated the preparation and response to the events related to deployment operations such as the pre-deployment function line. The pre-deployment function line streamlines the deployment process by ensuring Airmen are up-to-date on all medical and training requirements, while also providing financial, legal, family readiness and chapel support.
“It’s our job to assess the 317th AW’s mission set in accordance with the Wing Commander’s intent and priorities,” said Maj. Alicia Stumpf, 317th AW Inspector General. “During Phase 1, we looked at the initial steps on how the 317th AW was able to process cargo and personnel as well as generate aircraft at a moment’s notice.”
The exercise is a way to get back to the core of Full Spectrum Readiness which is the way the Air Force maintains the skills and knowledge required to deploy quickly and operate effectively in a full range of combat environments.
“The Air Force has been pushing to get back to FSR for the last six months,” said Col. David Owens, 317th AW commander. “Through this type of readiness, our deployments are almost instantaneous. It is the wing’s responsibility to ensure we can meet the wartime mission, anytime and anywhere.”
While the ORE has pushed the 317th AW to its full potential, there are still many things to learn along the way to becoming more proficient at the day-to-day tasks for large-scale deployments.
“Our successes are going to be met through our failures,” said Stumpf. “We need to identify the places where we are weaker and ensure we receive additional training so the 317th AW can become better as a whole.”
Not only is the ORE 18-01 a test for the 317th AW, but for the entire installation. The 7th BW has a critical role in supporting Dyess’ tenant wing by providing personnel from multiple units such as the 7th Medical Group and 7th Mission Support Group.
“We train for these situations every day, but we need to have the ability to generate the max amount of proficient aircraft, aircrew and maintainers,” said Owens. “The wing does not own a medical group or mission support group, and without them we don’t go anywhere. Overall this exercise has been a direct test of the entire installation.”