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Airmen hone skills during simulated deployment

Firefighters in MOPP gear practice rescuing an Airman in MOPP gear from a car crash.

U.S Air Force firefighter Airmen rescue an Airman in a simulated car crash at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, August 26, 2018. Team Little Rock Airmen practiced numerous simulated issues depending on their designated roles in ROCKI 18-07 exercise such as a simulated fire, communication failures and protests.

A long shot from the inside of a C-130J aircraft shows a parachuted pallet simulating heavy equipment sliding out the open back of the plane.

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Joshua Miranda, 61st Airlift Squadron loadmaster, oversees a simulated heavy equipment offload over an undesignated drop zone Aug. 25, 2018. Miranda was a part of a group of aircraft who also performed offloads.

Seven green camouflaged Airmen gather around a medical gurney to practice strapping a patient onto it.

Team Little Rock Airmen perform medical training on Little Rock Air Force Base, Aug. 24. Airmen practiced strapping patients to stretchers and carrying them to medical care.

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. --

The 19th Airlift Wing wrapped up ROCK I 18-07 an 11-day, multiphase exercise Thursday showcasing the ability to prepare, deploy and execute its mission to project combat airlift at a moment’s notice around the world.

The exercise was a chance for Airmen to learn what to expect when tasked to support contingency operations. The multiphase process keeps Airmen ready for short-notice deployments and allows units to assess and improve their procedures.

“The importance of a multi-phased approach is testing our processes and our Airmen’s ability to conduct themselves in a simulated wartime environment in order to provide agile combat airlift and conduct our nation’s business,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Bryan McNeal, 19th Communications Squadron cyber transport section chief.

“Phase One’s purpose was to test Team Little Rock’s ability to deploy its Airmen at a moment’s notice; Phase Two’s purpose was to exercise and validate the training and readiness levels of our Airmen in a simulated wartime environment.”

The exercise included simulated noncombatant evacuation operations and airdrop missions, as well as a host of scenarios designed to allow Airmen across the wing to demonstrate the discipline to execute the mission under stressful conditions.

“This exercise was the culmination of a lot of hard work and dedication by our Airmen over the past few months,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Gerald Donohue, 19th Airlift Wing commander.

“While this training presented one way we could be called upon to project combat airlift, the lessons Airmen learned apply regardless of where or how we are called upon to execute the mission.”

Some of the events, such as a simulated fire, communication failures and protests, allowed Airmen to explore scenarios they might not otherwise see often.

 

“Our Airmen also got the opportunity to freshen up on some of their readiness skills, including but not limited to, radio etiquette, reporting hostile activity, and lifesaving skills in a combat environment,” McNeal said. “Airmen need to keep these skills sharpened to protect themselves and their wingmen while securing our nation’s freedom.”

19th Airlift Wing Inspection Team evaluators took to all sections of the simulated deployed area to assess how Airmen handle readiness during around-the-clock surge operations.

“The point of this exercise was to practice getting our men and women ready at a moment’s notice,” said U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Fitzpatrick, 19th Airlift Wing inspector general superintendent. “That consists of everything from getting training done, to processing through the deployment line, to make sure they’re ready to go to sustain global operations.”

“In the end, I think there’s no doubt the exercise was successful, specifically because of the individual efforts of all involved,” Donohue said. “I consistently saw Airmen showing the discipline necessary to do the job right, and that’s key to improving our full-spectrum readiness capabilities.”