Active duty, Guard and Reserve teams join at Volk Field for training, preparation efforts

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Andrew Davis
  • 375th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
 In preparation for the wing's Operational Readiness Inspection, Airmen from the 375th Airlift Wing, Minnesota Air National Guard's 133rd AW and the 94th Aerial Port Squadron from Robins AFB, Ga. participated in a weeklong training exercise May 11-17.

The training culminated in a two-day wartime simulation at Volk Field, Wisc.

The first Airmen, or the advance party, from Team Scott arrived May 11, while the majority arrived May 12.

Airmen from the 133rd AW arrived the following day and started training immediately.

Throughout the week, Airmen participated in a number of classes to help prepare them for the final exercise.

"We are giving you the skills for success through these classes," said Master Sgt. John Motely, Volk Field cadre, during the initial in-processing brief. "During the exercise, we are here to teach you guys--not necessarily judge, but show you mistakes in your processes and the steps needed to correct them."

Classes covered building hardening procedures, self aid and buddy care, unexploded ordnance detection and ability to survive and operate training.

"For many, these classes will be a refresher course on what you have been taught before," said Sergeant Motely. "But they are vital and critical skills that are going to be tested during this exercise and in deployed locations worldwide."

The training culminated in a simulated wartime exercise that tested teamwork.

Lt. Col. Edwin Oshiba, 375th Civil Engineer Squadron commander, said the units at the exercise worked well together.

"For the final exercise we all came together to eliminate our simulated wartime threat and worked as a total joint force," Colonel Oshiba said. "I was really impressed with the cooperation between the two units and how well they worked side-by-side."

During the exercise Airmen put all of the training they received to use and were challenged throughout the day.

Senior Airman Ray Tor, 375th Comptroller Squadron, said he was challenged doing perimeter checks.

"Doing building sweeps as part of a (post-attack reconnaissance) team in MOPP 4 was probably the most challenging," Airman Tor said "After buddy checking my fellow Airmen and making sure they had their MOPP gear on correctly, me and my fellow PAR team members had to do perimeter checks of our building in all the gear and identify threats to the building."

While the days were long and hard, morale appeared high among the Airmen.

"I really enjoyed the training--I learned a lot and gained some skills that I will put to work during the ORI," said Airman Tor. "Working with our Guard counterparts was really refreshing and provided insight into how the Guard runs their day-to-day operations."

In October, the teams are scheduled to participate in another operational readiness exercise that will more closely mirror the March ORI.

Colonel Oshiba said, "the next exercise will be a little different. For the next one, there will be no training on site. Upon landing there will be time to set up and then Airmen will go straight into the simulated wartime environment."

The 133rd AW is the lead wing for the inspection and joint preparation efforts, but the teamwork between the wings was evident--from senior leaders to Airmen.

"We had excellent service and support throughout the exercise," said Colonel Oshiba. "We're all looking forward to furthering our already outstanding relationship with our Guard and Reserve counterparts for future exercises and the ORI."