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19th FSS Capstone produces Ready Warriors

Airmen stand in a row in a field.

Airmen from the 19th Force Support Squadron stand in a line to look for objects during an exercise at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Oct. 2, 2019. The 12-hour exercise — which included building a single pallet expeditionary kitchen, search and recovery, and mortuary training — focused on helping new Airmen get hands-on with exercises and acted as a refresher for more experienced Airmen (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jayden Ford)

Airmen lift up a metal piece of a tent.

19th Force Support Squadron Airmen build a single pallet expeditionary kitchen at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Oct. 2, 2019. The SPEK tent is used to quickly and effectively feed a large amount of people. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jayden Ford)

An Airman bends over multiple metal poles and unties a strap.

A 19th Force Support Squadron Airman loosens a strap around poles for a single pallet expeditionary kitchen at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Oct. 2, 2019. The 19th FSS participated in a capstone event to increase Airmen readiness. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jayden Ford)

Multiple Airmen spread a plastic cover over a tent.

19th Force Support Squadron Airmen set up a single pallet expeditionary kitchen at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Oct. 2, 2019. Team Little Rock’s 19th FSS held a capstone exercise to test contingency capabilities and educate newer members on respective expeditionary responsibilities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jayden Ford)

Two Airmen place a black wallet inside a plastic bag.

Two Airmen from the 19th Force Support Squadron place a wallet in a bag as part of a search and recovery exercise at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Oct. 2, 2019. The search and recovery exercise was an event during which Airmen thoroughly search for objects in the event of a disaster. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jayden Ford)

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark --

Team Little Rock’s 19th Force Support Squadron held a capstone exercise Oct. 2, 2019, to test contingency capabilities as well as educate newer members on respective expeditionary responsibilities.

The exercise created an environment where the Airmen could test their skills and readiness to ensure members of the squadron maintain their full-spectrum combat capabilities.

The 12-hour exercise included building a single-pallet expeditionary kitchen, search and recovery, and mortuary training.

“We have a lot of new Airmen and some of them haven’t been through an exercise yet,” said U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Miguel Martinez, 19th FSS services journeyman. “It’s good to get their foot in the door and get them ready for the larger exercises, that way they aren’t too nervous when the time comes.”

According to Martinez, this experience is very beneficial to new Airmen because they get to work with people they already know who can make them comfortable and aid them in learning skills that will be used during wing-wide exercises.

“It’s important for the new Airmen to have that one-on-one interaction where they can ask questions and actually kind of know the person who is teaching them,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Danielle Joe, 19th FSS operations superintendent. “I think from that perspective, it’s going to help them feel a lot more comfortable when they are out here with us.”

As the Airmen learn, leadership helps them and in turn learns the ways each of the Airmen take in information.

“It starts like a big puzzle,” Joe said. “We break it down into the parts people understand. It’s good for us to be able to get in a diffuse any kind of frustrations or recognize any learning defaults — that way we can make sure they are getting to that next level of readiness.”

Knowing what to do when the time comes and repetitively practicing tasks the Airmen might see allows them to avoid making mistakes in a critical situation.

“If we’re not ensuring we are as familiar with these deployed tasks as we are with in-garrison tasks — it’s going to hurt when you’re in a situation and don’t know what to do.”

As the 19th Airlift Wing exercise, ROCKI 20-01, approaches — the squadron’s capstone event prepares them for what is to come and helps put Airmen at ease knowing that they have the knowledge to tackle any scenario that is thrown their way.

“This exercise helps prepare us for when we head out for ROCKI 20-01,” Joe said. “I know that we will be expected to provide feeding capabilities with the single pallet expeditionary kitchen, so I want my team to feel very comfortable putting it back up again.”

All of this contributes to maintaining Team Little Rock’s combat capabilities and establishes an atmosphere to create Ready Warriors.

“Readiness means understanding what your mission is, and being able to promptly execute,” Joe said. “You need to be able to truly dissect what your role is and ensure that you’re completely capable of doing what is asked of you in a moment’s notice.”

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