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ORI kicks off at Kadena

  • Published
  • By Maj. John Hutcheson
  • 18th Wing Public Affairs
Operation Beverly Bearcat 08-01 officially kicked off here Sunday as the 18th Wing began its Pacific Air Forces Operational Readiness Inspection. The inspection is scheduled to run through March 14. 

Inspectors from PACAF will formally evaluate the wing's ability to fulfill its commitments to defend Japan as required under the Japan-U.S security alliance. Inspectors will judge the wing's overall level of readiness through its ability to mobilize forces for deployment, generate combat aircraft and conduct operations from Kadena under simulated wartime conditions. 

Things kicked into high gear Sunday evening as the wing received a simulated deployment order to send personnel and equipment to other locations around the AOR.  The Installation Deployment Readiness Cell stood up to begin processing people and cargo for deployment while Airmen finished last minute checks of their gear and their equipment. At the same time, the wing is set to practice its role as a forward staging base by demonstrating its ability to receive large numbers of incoming aircraft and personnel to bolster the base's potent combat capability. 

Kadena has been preparing for the ORI for the past eight months by conducting local operational readiness exercises nearly once a month. 

"The ultimate goal of conducting these exercises and undergoing this inspection is to prove to ourselves, to our headquarters and to everyone else who may be watching that we are more than capable of carrying out our mission to defend Japan and maintain peace and stability in this region," said Brig. Gen. Brett T. Williams, 18th Wing commander. 

As the "Keystone of the Pacific," Kadena Air Base delivers a full range of capabilities - air superiority, aerial refueling, airborne command and control, combat search and rescue and aeromedical evacuation, in addition to the full range of combat support services. The wing operates the F-15C Eagle fighter, the KC-135 Stratotanker air refueling aircraft, the E-3 Sentry airborne command and control aircraft and the HH-60 Pave Hawk combat search and rescue helicopter.