Patriot Warrior 2018 concludes on a high note
By Staff Sgt. Xavier Lockley, 927th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
/ Published August 22, 2018
FORT MCCOY, Wisc. -- Dedication, persistence, teamwork, and ongoing observations of command processes were among the highlights of the two week-long exercise that concluded on Aug. 21.
“Our goal was to get these Airmen in situations where they would be challenged in many different aspects,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Patrick Erdman, 914th Mission Support Group commander and Patriot Warrior 2018 commander. “From the minute that our 927th Aeromedical Staging Squadron individuals got off the plane, they were eager to work regardless of what they were tasked with and that’s exactly why they were so successful in this exercise.”
The recent exercise was one of four exercises happening under exercise Global Medic, an Army specific exercise involving joint partners consisting of wide training scenarios. Each shares the goal of ensuring that reservists regardless of branch can execute its responsibilities in support of the reserve specific mission to execute effectively in all operational situations.
The exercise provided leaders with the ability to determine which areas need more development and define processes used to plan and manage the transition from peacetime weapon system support to those required to surge and maintain both contingency and wartime support levels.
“Ultimately, we learned we can perform wherever we are tasked to go,” said Lt. Col. Rebecca Piotrowski, 927 ASTS flight surgeon. “Our teamwork was stellar and even when things began to challenge us more, we stayed the course and continued to persist which lets me know, we can thrive together in a deployed environment.”
Deployments can take place at any time and point in a military members career. The importance to stay ready at all times is pivotal to mission success. Throughout the exercise, members of the Army Reserve, Navy Reserve visited the En Route Patient Staging System site.
“It’s great coming out here to see how our Air Force counterparts operate in the ERPSS tents,” said Col. Nancy Miller, 801st Combat Support Hospital Battalion executive officer. “We learn from them and figure out different ways that we can incorporate some of their techniques in our patient movement process and the same goes for when they visit our staging units, the two services continue to learn from each other.”
In visiting different facilities during the exercise, Col. Erdman said that he was able to see that the Airmen were communicating, presenting strong leadership skills and truly honing their craft.
“The Airmen were fantastic. Their desire to be challenged and willingness to learn was exactly what I was hoping to see,” he said. “These Airmen are at the core of why Air Force Reserve Command continues to thrive in all facets.”
While Erdman oversaw the exercise from one perspective, Lt. Col. Gerard Mekosh, AFRC Force Generation Center exercise planner, viewed the exercise from a different vantage point.
“Although we had excellent participation from the 927 ASTS, our support functions were also critical in making this exercise what it was,” said Mekosh. “We were very fortunate to have our fire team, personnel team, Explosive Ordinance Disposal team as well, the participation that we received was outstanding.”
Mekosh said that planning for future Patriot Warrior exercises begins as soon after the exercise has ended.
“Every year, we’re always thinking about how we can make this exercise better,” said Mekosh. “We’ve gotten feedback from the participants and observers about things we can improve for next year so that’s something that we’re able to grow from and continue towards developing an outstanding training opportunity for Airmen for years to come.”