301st Develops Exercise to Train Combat-Ready Airmen

FORT WOLTERS, Texas — Just fifteen minutes into the 12-hour exercise here March 6-7, men and women with the 301st Medical Squadron at Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, Texas, stabilized an Airman’s simulated broken ankle in field conditions while an inspector graded their treatment and patient care.

“We are testing our Airmen, docs, nurses [medical technicians] and medical admin on how to properly treat a patient and get the patient up to our emergency operation standards,” said Master Sgt. Roman Campos, lead medical wing inspection team member.

“It’s important that our docs, nurses and med techs see how it is when you’re deployed and your capabilities are limited to what you bring or what’s there.”

Nearly 140 Airmen from seven squadrons throughout the 301st Fighter Wing traveled through a personnel-processing line where Airmen carried out their duty-specific tasks in a simulated deployed environment — all within 24 hours.

“We were able to get them ready, process them through a line, prepare them to load a convoy, and transition to a deployed location to begin the training that will assist them as they move forward in their careers,” said Master Sgt. Guajardo, exercise project officer. “Ultimately, the exercise allowed the Airmen to reach the goal of being prepared at any time to deploy to a forward location.”

Chaplain, medical, civil engineering, security forces, mission support group staff, logistics readiness, services, forces support squadron and finance offices participated in the exercise to stir feelings of a deployed environment.

The 301st Services Flight also set up a single palletized expeditionary kitchen serving both breakfast and dinner during the exercise. Ten Services Airmen fasten poles and beams together to stand up the tent. Four hours later, the first hot meal was served.

“I’m a little bit nervous, my heart is racing,” said Senior Airman Selena Saenz-Valdez, a first-time exercise participant and a food specialist assigned to the 301st Services Flight. “I just don’t know what to expect. I really want to get that feeling of urgency of putting on MOPP gear, being able to gear up, and seeing my strengths areas.”

Training and deploying combat-ready Airmen is the wing’s mission. This training enhances the wing’s ability to execute the mission. The Airman faced everything from simulated attacks to changing force protection conditions to measure their reaction.

“Training is the only way to keep up,” Campo said. “Especially in the medical field, it’s either use or lose.”

Just two weeks earlier, eight civil engineers spent 10 hours a day, seven days a week in frigid Texas weather, which hovered around 30 degrees, building and setting up the facilities.

“They set up over 20 tents, reconstructed tent floors, built guard tower stands and five generators and completed electrical and HVAC systems for the camp,” said Senior Master Sgt. Richard Nemetz, one of the civil engineers inspectors. “They worked in the snow.”

Preparing for an exercise takes time and a lot of planning. Subject matter experts provided more than 100 training suggestions to the exercise planners.

“Everybody plays a special role,” Guadjardo said. “While you may think you are not important, or your job isn’t, when you put those pieces together it becomes one important thing, and that’s executing the mission.”

By Capt Candice Allen,
301st Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Published April 15, 2015

Senior Airman James Kirkpatrick, 301st Security Forces Squadron, holds a gun during an mission support group exercise March 6-7 in Fort Wolters, Texas. Nearly 140 Airmen from seven offices throughout the 301st Fighter Wing traveled through a personnel-processing line where Airmen carried out their duty-specific tasks in a simulated deployed environment. (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Candice Allen)

About Defender Magazine 407 Articles
Jose J. Sanchez, Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Defender Magazine, USAF Honor Guard, Bolling AFB, Washington DC, 416th SFS, Griffiss AFB, NY, 89th SFS, Andrews AFB, MD