927th ASTS arrives at Patriot Warrior 2018
By Staff Sgt. Xavier Lockley, 927th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
/ Published August 12, 2018
FORT MCCOY, Wisc. -- Reserve Citizen Airmen from the 927th Aeromedical Staging Squadron arrived at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, Aug. 8, for the 2018 Patriot Warrior Exercise, an annual exercise geared toward enhancing the capabilities of Reserve Citizen Airmen by providing them with training to ensure all are deployment ready.
During the first few hours of their arrival to Fort McCoy, members of the squadron were tasked with various duties such as in-processing, figuring out sleeping arrangements, organizing the supplies that were shipped from MacDill Air Force Base, Fla, and lastly setting up tents that serve as workstations.
"With this exercise, our Airmen are going to be challenged in different ways,” said Col. Gary Hopkins, 927th ASTS commander. “Once they arrived, they began working and they handled the challenge with such poise and that’s exactly what I want to see,” said Hopkins.
More than 50 reservists from the 927 ASTS are participating in the exercise. Hopkins also explained why this training is vital for his squadron.
“Our Airmen need training like this because its preparing them for deployments later down the line,” Hopkins said. “The exposure to a new environment with people from the squadron and even other players from other units and services is excellent for the development of our troops to be able to adapt to different variables that real-world deployments may provide.”
Supporting a larger exercise known as Global Medic, Patriot Warrior provides hands on training for ASTS reservists to experience what they will encounter during a deployment.
"We understand each and every day regardless of where we are that we have a job to do,” said Master Sgt. Jerrard Mack, 927 ASTS technician. “We don’t have the luxury of having off days, every day that we are out here for this exercise we have to lose the mindset that it’s just training because in reality how we practice is how we’re going to play."
The goal of Patriot Warrior is to ensure that Airmen are deployment ready, but not only that it also assists in highlighting the capabilities of the Air Force Reserve in a multitude of aspects such as aeromedical evacuation and patient care.