Black Knights execute generation readiness exercise

  • Published
  • By Airman Julian Atkins
  • 19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Airmen from the 19th Airlift Wing conducted ROCKI 23-05 March 7-8, which successfully demonstrated the wing’s ability to rapidly deploy at a moment’s notice.

The wing-level readiness exercise showcased and evaluated how effectively the 19th AW could mobilize and deploy under an accelerated timeline. Additionally, ROCKI 23-05 served as a training opportunity for the 19th AW to prepare for Air Mobility Command’s largest exercise, Mobility Guardian 2023, taking place in July.  

ROCKI 23-05 specifically evaluated the wing's ability to assemble, process and deploy personnel and cargo in a compressed timeline to a contested environment.

It was a concerted effort across the wing as members from the inspector general, force support, medical, maintenance, operations and logistics readiness teams pulled together all the readiness requirements for this exercise.

“Every organization has a hand in making sure everyone gets where they need to be with the right amount of equipment and at the right time,” said Lt. Col. Joeli Field, 19th AW Inspector General.

In an unprecedented timeline, Airmen were tasked to deploy, aircrews were assembled, aircraft were prepped and loaded, deployers received pre-deployment briefings, equipment, and firearms all before heading out the door. 

With both Mobility Guardian 2023 coming up this summer and new threats emerging to challenge the nation's security and interests, Black Knights are rehearsing how we fight and refining our ability to rapidly deploy while also aligning mission priorities with the new Air Force Force Generation model.

“The pacing challenge is very real. This exercise is more than just practicing our ability to get people and equipment out the door,” Field said.

Exercises like these better prepare Team Little Rock to face new challenges in the future, all while evolving out of a previous war-fighting mentality. 

“This is a mindset shift—the way we've always done things maybe isn't the best way. We are taking a hard look at how we're executing this particular mission set, deploying our personnel and equipment, and finding ways we can do it better,” Field added.

During his recent keynote address at the Air and Space Forces Association 2023 Warfare Symposium, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr., announced a new feature of the modernization effort – Air Force Future Operating Concept. In the AFFOC, Brown identified “six fights” that the Air Force must dominate to deter conflict and project airpower in defense of our allies, partners, and national interests. The six key fights are: the fight to compete with and deter, the fight to get into theater, the fight to get airborne, the fight for air superiority, the fight to deny adversary objectives, and the fight to sustain ourselves, our allies and partners in competition and conflict.

“As Airmen, you must think differently about how we fly, fight and win. With accelerate, change, or lose, you need to think about the speed, the agility, the lethality we have that are force multipliers. You must adapt. And we cannot do this by ourselves. … In order to be successful, we have to work together,” Brown said.

Mobility Airmen play a huge role in all six fights, especially in the fight to get into theater and the fight to sustain ourselves, our allies and our partners in competition and conflict.

"Preparing for the next fight demands intentional development and practice.  Exercises like this are designed to stress the system and I am proud of this team for how we performed.  Our exercises are designed to take Airmen out of their comfort zone so we can empower them to make bold decisions and take deliberate risks," said Col. Angela Ochoa, 19th AW commander.