Readiness Exercise 2022 plays role in AMC’s ‘Strategy to Win’

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Matt Porter
  • 87th Air Base Wing

Airmen from the 87th Air Base Wing, 305th Air Mobility Wing, and 514th Air Mobility Wing at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst began phase two of Readiness Exercise 2022, Apr. 3.

While phase one focused on pre-deployment and personal readiness, phase two tested an integrated construct of multiple mission partners, joint services, and their ability to survive and operate in contested, austere locations under chemical, conventional, and cyber-attack threats.

“The goal of this LRE was twofold, we first wanted to synchronize the different operating capabilities of three Air Force Wings and then ensure their Airmen’s ability to carry out the mission under various forms of attack,” said Senior Master Sgt. Jeremy Puskas, 305 Air Mobility Wing inspector general. “Our multi-capable Airmen’s ability to rapidly generate aircraft in a degraded environment and then deploy to an austere location gives us a tactical edge over near-peer in the infinite game.”

Readiness exercises are commonly held and designed to evaluate how fast U.S. forces can process and deploy to support Combatant Commanders globally.

The exercise’s scale, involvement of multiple Wings from a single location, injection of numerous threat scenarios, and the direct support of a joint service through the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division, all made RE22 a unique construct and not routine, according to Puskas.

“What we’re able to learn from an LRE like RE22 is invaluable in terms of raw data and trends,” said Puskas. “Because involvement across the Wings is so comprehensive, IG and WIT members are able to identify holes in training, efficiency, and determine unmet needs from pre-deployment to deployment phases on a grand scale.”

Ensuring that Airmen were able to properly don mission oriented protective posture gear and carry out their mission in a contested environment was paramount to the success of the exercise.

Objectives included the generation of aircraft for departure to Little Rock, Arkansas, MOPP gear inspection, and self-aid buddy care scenarios. Inspectors tasked multi-capable Airmen to equip MOPP gear and then complete the upload of aerospace ground equipment, liquid oxygen tanks, baggage pallets, counterweights, and other essential maintenance equipment to a C-17 Globemaster III.

“We threw everything but the kitchen sink at them,” said Puskas. “It’s critical that we teach our Airmen the importance of ATSO in a contested environment. It’s not enough that they’re able to carry out the mission under normal circumstances. We have to prepare them to operate when circumstances might be at their worst.”

RE22’s emphasis on rapid force generation, joint partnerships, and undeterred operation in contested environments through ATSO is in keeping with Air Mobility Command’s “strategy to win.” Fostering a warrior culture at the nation’s only tri-service joint base is necessary to project the joint force and ensure strategic advantage over near-peer.

Future readiness exercises will continue to hone tactics, techniques, and procedures to develop the decisive mobility force of the future and extract maximum value out of existing capabilities on the joint base.