Misawa Airmen prove they are ready in ORE

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. A.C. Eggman
  • 35th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Early Tuesday morning, phones began to ring as Misawa Air Base leadership initiated a 35th Fighter Wing recall of all Airmen.

The recall kicked off the first portion of the Operational Readiness Exercise that started Feb. 6. OREs test the 35th Fighter Wing's ability to prepare to deploy Airmen and aircraft on short notice, as well as their ability to survive and operate in a deployed location.

If Airmen and aircraft were needed to support contingency operations in the Asia-Pacific region, "Misawa Airmen would be ready," said Col. Terrence O'Shaughnessy, 35th Fighter Wing commander.

During the first phase of the ORE, Airmen focused on preparing to deploy - from the flightline to the supply room, and from the personnel office to the F-16 pilots.

To keep the public informed, Colonel O'Shaughnessy held a mock meeting with the Misawa City mayor and then held a mock press conference. Mock press conferences and interviews test base leader's ability to inform the public and community in a timely manner when an event occurs. They also help dispel rumors and alleviate public concerns.

"This deployment is purely a defensive measure to ensure our forces are in the right place and ready to respond when asked to do so," said Colonel O'Shaughnessy to about five simulated reporters during the mock press conference.

The first portion of the exercise is the pre-deployment phase. During this phase, all units prepare to deploy by identifying which Airmen, equipment and aircraft are needed at their deployed location. Identified Airmen then process through a deployment line, ensuring their mobility folders are up-to-date. This is also the phase where necessary cargo is palletized and processed.

"We constantly train to prepare for any need that our nation may ask for us to meet," said the colonel. "We have a responsibility to train and be prepared at all times to help maintain the stability in this region and support operations down range."

Currently, Misawa has hundreds of Airmen deployed worldwide in support of contingency operations and those remaining here are training for future deployments as well as our upcoming Operational Readiness Inspection, said Colonel O'Shaughnessy.

Although, this week's exercise allows valuable insight into the wing's readiness for its upcoming ORI in March, the focus should not be on the inspection, but rather being prepared to respond to a real-world tasking to deploy, said the colonel.

"Your goal should be to maximize combat readiness, first and to do well in the inspection second," he said. "Airmen should keep their minds on the mission and maintain a sense of urgency. It is important even during an exercise that we communicate with each other. Information must flow in all directions - from the colonels down to the Airmen and back up the chain. Communication is the key to our mission success."