Mission Complete: 916th Air Refueling Wing executes mobilization exercise

  • Published
  • By SSgt Mary McKnight
  • 916th Air Refueling Wing

Ready, set, deploy. Members of the 916th Air Refueling Wing completed a mobilization exercise, Nov. 4-5.

Each year Air Force Reserve Command requires all of its wings complete wing level inspections and exercises. Due to mitigating circumstances the 916 ARW fell behind on this requirement.

“The conversion to the KC-46, the COVID-19 pandemic, and other wing level exercises took us away from pallet building training and deployment exercises,” said Michael Binda, 916th Logistics Readiness Squadron, logistics planner.

With the KC-46 Pegasus here, adjusting to the new normal of COVID-19, and organizing around other wing level inspections and exercises, the 916 ARW pushes to get back on track.

“It took various entities across the base to pull this together,” said Master Sgt. Derric Burgess, 916 LRS NCO in charge of logistics plans. “There was preplanning and coordination with the 4th Fighter Wing’s air transportation office, the 916th’s Force Support Squadron, Logistics Readiness Squadron, the Inspector General, and Unit Deployment Managers. We all came together to put on a good exercise, and the execution reflects just that.”

The exercise began at the 77th Air Refueling Squadron with a briefing. Participants were picked up via bus, transported to the 4 Fighter Wing’s supply warehouse, and navigated through a processing line by the 916 LRS. The next stop was the personnel deployment function building for final screenings and briefings before the faux deployment.

“I definitely feel the exercise was beneficial,” said Tech St. Sterlyn Newkirk, 916th Aerospace Medicine Squadron lab medical technician and exercise participant. “I was able to obtain my gas mask and Mission Oriented Protective Posture gear, which would be necessary for a real deployment. Also, I now know what to expect and how to prepare for a mass deployment,” said Newkirk.

UTA weekends are spent on individual readiness, not mass training opportunities.

“It takes a critical amount of Airmen power, partnership, and focus to ensure our Airmen are operationally postured to serve the Air Force Reserve in a short time’s notice,” said Chief Master Sgt. Shawna A. Romero, 916th Force Support Squadron, senior enlisted leader.

The target time for this exercise was 72 hours.

“In total, we processed 140 Airmen within 13 hours,” said Deb Hockett, 916 ARW wing deployment officer. “At this pace we could deploy our entire Wing within 72 hours.”

Reserve Ready!