U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Kurt Haydam, 35th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron electrical and environmental technician, refers to his technical orders while doing maintenance on an F-16 Fighting Falcon during an Initial Response Readiness Exercise at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Jan. 10, 2013. Everything a maintainer needs to know when maintaining an aircraft can be found on the screen of the TO. The purpose of the IRRE is to test the wing’s ability to generate aircraft and deploy combat power to a given area of responsibility. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Kenna Jackson)
U.S. Air Force Airman Basic Jeremy Franklin, 13th Aircraft Maintenance Unit crew member, prepares an F-16 Fighting Falcon for inspection during the Initial Response Readiness Exercise at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Jan. 11, 2013. During an IRRE, maintainers are tasked with preparing jets for a simulated war scenario. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Kenna Jackson)
by Airman 1st Class Kia Atkins
35th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
1/11/2013 - MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- The constant bombardment of emails containing the phrase "EXERCISE, EXERCISE, EXERCISE" can only mean one thing: the base is demonstrating its combat knowledge during an Initial Response Readiness Exercise on Jan. 10, 2013.
An IRRE's unpredictable events are used to evaluate the wing's ability to organize and activate from peacetime readiness to wartime posture on short notice.
Some areas the wing is tested on include command and control, deployment processing, employment readiness, information operations and force protection. Not only does the wing have to ensure the readiness of its Airmen, it also has to ensure the readiness of its aircraft.
"What we look for in our aircraft is serviceability and safety in flight, which is the number one thing," said Tech. Sgt. Michael Baker, 35th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron production section. "Every maintainer out here knows that if the call comes down and we must go, these aircraft have to be ready."
During exercises, the 13th and 14th Aircraft Maintenance Units assign aircraft into different sections during exercises called cells. Generally, each cell contains six aircraft.
"Every generation is different, but by working as a team we can achieve our goal," said Baker.
During this exercise, the AMUs came together to achieve their goal of generating safe and reliable aircraft, which helped demonstrate the wing's overall readiness.
"Every exercise is important, none of them are a joke or a game," said Baker. "It's good for Airmen to know that if we need to go to war, we're prepared."