153rd Airlift Wing exercises deployment readiness

CHEYENNE, Wyo. -- As members of the Air National Guard, answering the nation’s and state’s calls in a moment’s notice is of utmost importance.

On Aug. 7 and 8, the 153rd Airlift Wing’s ability to do that was tested with phase one exercises including a pre-deployment and a cargo deployment function line.

The purpose of these exercises was to test the wing’s mobility readiness and to identify areas that hinder the wing’s ability to perform its mission. This was evaluated by the wing inspector general who is responsible for independently assessing the readiness, discipline and efficiency of the wing.

During the PDF exercise, members from the wing were taken through a multi-functional line with representatives from various agencies. These agencies ranged from medical and personnel to Airman and Family Readiness and legal.

This specific line is responsible for ensuring unit personnel tasked to deploy are able to meet mission readiness requirements prior to deployment. In total, 34 airmen were tasked to process through the PDF line, with only 72 hours notice to prepare.

“The exercise of the PDF line with our given scenario provided us a tremendous opportunity to further refine our processes, identify areas of improvement, and provide personnel a unique training opportunity,” said Capt. Sheila Sells, 153rd Force Support Squadron self-assessment program manager. “The things we learned from the exercise will help us be better prepared for our future real-world deployments.”

For the CDF exercise, increment monitors from different squadrons prepared their career-field specific gear to be shipped as if they deployed.

While this portion of the exercise relied on participation from the 153rd, it primarily tested the aerial port flight’s ability to process increments, pallets and even a vehicle. The ultimate goal was to ensure the cargo was airworthy before being deployed.

“Often times, we don’t get to do hands-on training,” said Master Sgt. Micah Lile, supervisor of aircraft services and noncommissioned officer in charge of the CDF. “While classroom and computer based training are equally as important, this CDF exercise gives us the hands on experience we need to be able to do our actual job.”

Collectively, the PDF and CDF exercises served as opportunities to evaluate the wing and its ability to deploy personnel and cargo that is necessary to perform its mission in a deployed location.