TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Travis Air Force Base conducted a readiness exercise May 2 – 9 to test the base’s response capabilities.
The exercise took seven months to plan and featured numerous training scenarios which Airmen had to respond to including nearly a dozen enemy attacks, transporting wounded service members, cargo loading and flying operations in simulated contested environments.
Bill Hoeft, 60th Air Mobility Wing inspection planner, said with each exercise, his team works to blend the training requirements of Air Mobility Command, along with the requirements of the 60th AMW commander and squadron commanders.
“This exercise featured all three wings at Travis and multiple agencies all coming together to enhance their skills at operating in a contested environment,” Hoeft said.
Honing skills to ensure operational effectiveness is critical to mission success, he added.
“We want our Airmen to be ready for anything and the only way to be ready for anything is to practice for anything,” Hoeft said. “We try and present as much as we can to our Airmen before they have to experience those things and potentially be in in harm’s way. This enables our Airmen to make their foundation of skills stronger so they can better perform their mission when called upon.”
During the weeklong exercise, Airmen performed a variety of operations all while wearing mission oriented protective posture gear.
“Some of our Airmen were in MOPP gear for about 12 hours combined throughout the exercise,” Hoeft said.
Mission oriented protective posture gear is equipment designed to protect service members while operating in a potentially contaminated environment.
Senior Master Sgt. Shana Gale, 349th AMW Inspector General inspections superintendent, helped oversee exercise operations.
“This exercise enabled us to integrate on a large scale with our active-duty counterparts for the first time since 2012,” she said. “We are here to support the 60th AMW, which is our host wing, as best we can. When we deploy to support an operation somewhere in the world, we are all working together to get the mission done. Our expectation is to be ready when the call comes and exercising together provides us the opportunity to hone our skills.”
Gale said she was impressed with how well the members of the 349th AMW worked with the members of the 60th AMW.
“The Airmen did a phenomenal job integrating and working together,” she said. “No matter what was asked of them, medical support, maintenance actions or assisting in one way or another with a variety of tasks, the Airmen from all three wings performed really well.”
The mission at Travis is to project American power, anytime, anywhere—mission that does not slow down when the base is undergoing an exercise.
“This exercise was only successful because everyone on this base came together,” Hoeft said. “For the most part, the Airmen who were out there every day had great attitudes and met their exercise objectives. The base also completed its daily mission, which is probably the most impressive thing.”