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Team Kadena begins new year with a bang

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Christopher Marasky
  • 18th Wing Public Affairs
Team Kadena welcomed the New Year with a bang with Local Operational Readiness Exercise Beverly High 08-3.

This week's exercise tested the Wing's ability to survive and operate in a combat environment while receiving and deploying forces.

"Starting out in '08, obviously the big thing is that we are closer to the Operational Readiness Inspection," said Maj. Brandt House, 18th Wing Inspector General 'Warlord' for this week's exercise. "It's just that much more important that we begin to fine tune and hone the skills and processes that are required for us to not just pass the ORI, but to display our mission capabilities."

One area of focus for this exercise was the Wing's ability to receive and deploy both personnel and cargo as part of the combat effort.

"Mobility reception and deployment was previously one of our areas of much needed improvement, but we've seen great improvement, and we expect that to continue," said Major House.

In previous exercises, troops coming to Kadena were often simulated, to test functions such as the mobility line and the Logistics Readiness Squadron. One of the changes for this exercise is to play out scenarios all the way down to the unit level, allowing them to work out the logistics of 'bedding down' gained personnel.

"We just started to execute scenarios where the units receive personnel," said Major House. "That's been a large obstacle to overcome, to get them out of the mindset of simulating that, and now they have to actually do it and show how capable they are."

With increased exercise operations, the 18th Wing works to prepare itself for the upcoming Pacific Air Forces inspection in March.

"There are two goals we are looking forward to," said Brig. Gen. Brett T. Williams, 18th Wing commander. "The short term is that we've entered 2008 with the ORI around the corner, and we're preparing for that.

"The other is that we are showing the PACAF commander we can execute. I've seen professional attitudes working to see that happens," he said.

Another major challenge faced by members of the 18th Wing was that Beverly High 08-3 kicked off Monday, only seven days into the New Year and immediately after the Holiday season.

"I was concerned that we might not be as sharp coming off the holidays," said General Williams. "But we're doing better this time than we did during the last exercise of 2007, and a lot of that is because of the great preparation work that was done."

General Williams's sentiments about the Wing's ability to return from the holidays directly into exercise mode were mirrored by members of the 18th Wing IG as well.

"I think for this exercise that's one of the highlights," said Major House. "Where there could have been a letdown, and it might have been understood, we instead find motivated and focused individuals."

Major House attributed the ability for Kadena to move into an exercise with such ease to the day-to-day war fighters out there doing their mission.

"From the guys turning wrenches, pumping gas at the 909th, or simulating large force exercises in the fighter squadrons, Airmen here are doing their mission and demonstrating that day to day," he said.

General Williams also had a message for the members of Team Kadena, as they continue to improve upon their processes with each exercise leading up to the ORI, and beyond.

"My thanks for all the hard work. Keep focused, and be ready to demonstrate during the ORI that we are as prepared as possible for any combat tasking that may come our way," he said.