Westover conducts annual readiness exercise

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Shane M. Phipps
  • 439th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Airmen from units throughout the 439th Airlift Wing participated in an annual readiness exercise, here, June 11 through 14.

The event assessed Airmen’s ability to survive and operate in a hostile environment for a period of time.

“The objective of this particular exercise is called ATSO, which stands for the ability to survive and operate,” said Master Sgt. Alex Motoc, 439th Wing Inspection Team manager. “The basic concept is to deploy the force, employ the force, sustain the force, and accomplish the ATSO piece. Those four objectives come out of the national defense strategy and guidance from commanders throughout Air Force Reserve Command.”

With guidance from commanders, Motoc and his team were able to construct various scenarios mimicking a hostile deployed environment.

“Using that guidance and focusing on what the different units’ missions are, we tried to craft an exercise that puts them through their paces,” said Motoc. “This includes getting them in place, employing them, and sustaining them. It’s all simulating a scenario where we’ve stepped into an undeveloped airfield and we have to basically stand-up a wing and start operating in a contested environment, while experiencing different kinds of base attacks.”

Airmen from a variety of career fields participated in the exercise and adapted their regular duties to accomplish the mission in hazardous conditions.

“I work in personnel and my role is to make sure everyone is accounted for,” said Senior Airman Daniel Pedretti, 439th Force Support Squadron personnelist. “This is important in a deployed environment because if someone goes missing or is injured, it’s essential to know where they are and what the cause was. In a contingency, there are so many moving parts and you don’t know what’s going to happen next so it’s vital to know where everyone is at all time.”

In addition to preparing Westover Airmen to survive and operate in all conditions, the exercise included members of the Air Force Reserve Command Inspector General’s office who observed the Wing Inspection Team.

“Once per-cycle, AFRC IG comes out and observes a readiness exercise,” said Motoc. “They were here as part of that regular inspection. Their job is to judge our IG office and our WIT. It’s important for them to do this because without that feedback we wouldn’t know if we’re accurately interpreting the command’s guidance.”

The inspection team from AFRC was able to observe the entire exercise process and provide valuable feedback to the wing inspectors.

“At AFRC we have a special inspections branch,” said Senior Master Sgt. Richard Tucker, AFRC logistics plans and inspections manager. “Part of the branch’s responsibility is to validate one readiness exercise for each wing in AFRC and that validation includes an onsite visit. That’s why we’re here; to look at how the base is preforming and then compare that to the exercise report at the end. We compare what we saw to what the wing inspection team saw. We’re validating how the wing inspection team plans the exercise, how they execute and how they report it. Everyone’s done really well.”