Grissom flexes muscles during readiness exercise

  • Published
  • By Maj. Neil Samson
  • 434th ARW Public Affairs
Airmen were challenged to demonstrate the 434 Air Refueling Wing’s ability to generate and employ real-world U.S. Strategic Command requirements during an exercise here June 1-6.

The event is one of many exercises the 434th ARW’s Inspector General -- Inspections evaluates to ensure the Grissom is able to accomplish its mission -- whether stateside or deployed abroad.

During the week-long exercise, all units were evaluated and graded on scenarios, to include aircraft generation and recovery. Scenarios were based on real, current world threats.

“This exercise provided opportunities for Grissom Airmen to test and validate command, control and operational procedures in conjunction with U.S. Strategic Command requirements,” said Lt. Col. Victor Verboncoeur, 434th Operations Group chief of wing plans. “The exercise focused on realistic training for readiness.”

All base units played a direct or supporting role in the scenarios because the readiness mission requires all units to work together.

“Maintaining aircraft and generating aircrew requires the 434th Maintenance Group and the 434th OG to work closely together; crews need to be housed and fed, which requires cooperation from the 434th Mission Support Group; protecting aircraft, facilities and assets needs cooperation from our 434th Security Police Squadron defenders,” said Verboncoeur.

Though the exercise ended, Grissom continues to prepare to meet its mission of providing air refueling and combat ready forces.

“We flexed muscles that haven’t been flexed in a while,” said Col. Thom Pemberton, 434th ARW commander. “We are now stronger than we were before.”

As the exercise wound down, Pemberton reminded all Airmen of the role they fill in Grissom’s mission.

“The Air Force’s overall readiness depends on the individual readiness of each Reserve Citizen Airman here at Grissom,” he added.

The 434th ARW is the largest KC-135R Stratotanker unit in the Air Force Reserve Command. The Citizen Airmen from the Hoosier Wing routinely deploy around the world in support of the Air Force mission.

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