Misawa Airmen prepared to 'fight tonight'

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Melanie A. Hutto
  • 35th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Beverly Sunrise 17-07, an operational readiness exercise validating the state of the 35th Fighter Wing’s ability to “fight tonight,” concluded with the sound of “ENDEX, ENDEX, ENDEX” and Airmen, with sighs of relief, removing their mission oriented protective posture gear here, September 21.

A power projection hub during contingency operations, Misawa must remain prepared for an influx of personnel, aircraft, supplies, and other war fighting material necessary to rapidly deploy and set up operations at the drop of a hat.

“These exercises serve a dual purpose,” said Maj. Dave Madson, 35th Fighter Wing inspector general. “The first is to increase readiness and train Airmen how to operate in a stressful environment that mimics what they would experience in a real conflict. The second is to inform the commander of the Wing's level of preparedness to deploy and execute the mission, and identify deficiencies that need to be corrected before we have to execute in actual combat.”

BS 17-07’s initial phase included all aspects concerning aircraft generation, deployment of personnel and positioning; relying on the expertise of all squadrons at Misawa.

The mock personnel deployment function line streamlined the out-processing for large groups of “deploying” Airmen all while the wing inspection team evaluated Airmen on their personal and operational readiness.

“These exercises highlight that it requires a team effort to win. Every Airmen from every [career field] has to work together; there are no small roles and every mission is connected,” Madson said.

As the week-long exercise progressed into Phase II, Airmen had to defend the installation against mock biological, chemical and conventional threats.

With alarm sirens blaring, Airmen donned their MOPP gear and took cover, preparing themselves for simulated attacks.

As BS 17-07’s final hours drew near, a medical air evacuation marked the exercise’s final display of expertise and professionalism.

“This exercise is important because it tests our capability to be able to receive patients in a mass casualty situation and triage, treat them, and stabilize them,” said Chief Master Sgt. Jenny Powell, the 35th Medical Group Superintendent.

The scenario simulated patients being evacuated out of other locations in theater and air evacuated for further care.

“We are demonstrating our ability to triage and care for patients while we’re dawning protective gear,” said Powell. “It is important for us to show that in a contested environment and elevated MOPP level we can continue to provide exceptional patient care.”

Wing inspection team members assessed Airmen throughout to ensure procedures were executed properly and safely in every component of the wing while addressing any possible setbacks.

“Most Airmen have not deployed in support of major combat operations,” said Madson. “We want to ensure that the first time they do, they have realistic training to fall back on that will help them be combat effective and ready to fight on night one.”

Exercises like BS 17-07 not only ensure mission readiness, but also cement the bonds between the members of Team Misawa.

"If called upon to support any mission within the theater, we must be quick and effective," said Col. R. Scott Jobe, the 35th FW commander. "I am proud of the wingmanship displayed while excelling through the fast-paced generation, mock deployment and wartime scenarios in this exercise. I am confident our readiness was heightened, but more importantly that the 35th Fighter Wing truly is an unstoppable, cohesive team."