Reserve group stress tests deployment processes during exercise
By Maj. Ashley Walker, 913th Airlift Group
/ Published June 09, 2021
LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Arkansas --
The Air Force Reserve 913th Airlift Group tested its ability to prepare and process personnel for a deployment in a moment’s notice June 6, with a phase 1 exercise at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas.
“In 2019, the group relied heavily on our host wing to provide additional experts to process our personnel efficiently,” said Senior Master Sgt. Cathryn Rock, inspector general superintendent. “This exercise is to identify the exact limits of our group’s capabilities to process deployers before relying on external assistance.”
Regular exercises, such as this event, verify capabilities and identify areas of improvement before units are tasked for real world deployments. There are various training items needed in order to deploy, including having the correct equipment, verifying each individual is medically fit, and ensuring personnel have the proper combat or technical training for the deployed environment.
“It’s truly a team effort to answer our nation’s call with little notice. Each unit must quickly identify the capability and equipment requested, the appropriate personnel, and how fast we need to deliver those items to the theater,” said Col. Christopher Lacouture, 913th Airlift Group commander. “As we prepare for future deployments, this exercise is another step toward improving our processes and restoring readiness.”
Across the Air Force units of Active, Reserve and Guard forces are leveraging the unique strengths of each to seamlessly execute current missions and to train for the future fight.
Rock discussed that this exercise aimed to be more realistic and allows for Reserve Citizen Airmen to expand their knowledge of the deployment process.
“Nearly 80 percent of our members are part-time Reservists,” said Rock. “It’s incredible to witness their professionalism and dedication to the profession of arms. Though we know there is room to improve, we aim to combine their unique experience and skillsets to lead diverse teams through dynamic situations at home and abroad.”