MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Members from Team MacDill participated in a large-scale readiness exercise to continue pushing the Air Force Chief of Staff's initiative, ‘Accelerate Change or Lose.’
The LRE took place from May 19 through May 21 and was divided into two phases. Phase one focused on generation, the rapid mobility of aircraft, personnel and assets, according to Maj. Tyner Apt-Hill, the operations officer with the 6th Logistics Readiness Squadron.
“The 6th LRS has a large responsibility within generation due to the fact we 'own' the deployment control center and work with the installation deployment officers.” said Apt-Hill.
Generation takes place once the DCC is established and through guidance of the IDOs, they utilize the personnel and cargo deployment functions. The PDF line focuses on ensuring our personnel meet all deployment requirements to process. The CDF focuses on the cargo portion of the deployment. Cargo is reviewed before the movement to ensure it is safe to fly.
“The generation portion of the exercise is testing our ‘fight to get to the fight’ mentality,” added Apt-Hill.
Throughout the entirety of phase one however, the Airmen were met with various challenges. From bomb drills to cyberattacks like vishing.
“Our team is constantly focusing on how we can continue to operate from our home station, or deployed, regardless of enemy interruptions,” said Apt-Hill.
The 6th LRS’ job doesn’t just stop at phase one.
“The Air Force cannot fight without us,” said Staff Sgt. Logan Robinson, personal property supervisor with the 6th LRS.
With phase two taking place in a simulated contested environment, the Airmen were equipped with their mission oriented protective posture (MOPP) gear from the PDF line, while continuing to support the mission.
Due to the unprecedented nature of the exercise, they completed post-attack reconnaissance team sweeps during the employment and sustainment portion of the LRE.
“The biggest challenge in MOPP gear is learning to get comfortable with being uncomfortable,” said Robinson. “Being trapped in a suit for hours in the heat can sometimes make you think twice as much as you normally would on any tasks.”
The 6th LRS also weren't the only ones in their MOPP gear.
Airmen from the 6th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron (AMXS) and the 91st Air Refueling Squadron (ARS) played a pivotal role during phase two of the LRE.
“We need to ensure we’re right alongside the operators and flyers in order to perform seamlessly when the time comes,” added Robinson.
During the latter portion of the exercise, the Airmen from the 6th AMXS and the 91st ARS performed Team MacDill’s core task: providing world class air refueling with excellence.
“We’ve been saying for years that we’re the world’s greatest Air Force and we have been,” said Robinson. “But if we want to keep that title, then we need to constantly train and prepare for tomorrow’s fight in order to continue projecting air power, anytime, anywhere.”