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Birmingham Airmen Deploy To Mississippi

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Jim Bentley
  • 117th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

A readiness exercise was held by airmen from the 117th Air Refueling Wing at the Combat Readiness Training Center here last week. 

The airmen spent four days in conditions close to those of an operational deployment and balanced a fast paced operational tempo with a focus on effectiveness and personal safety.

They responded to a simulated emergency scenario requiring a rapid deployment of forces.  The airmen also practiced their respective skill sets the same way they would in an operational deployment.  New information was periodically made available to unit leadership, who had to factor it in by changing the defensive measures and operational duties of their unit to address a wide range of situations.

“The KC-135 Wings are being increasingly stretched by their missions, but also by the life cycle of our airframe,” said Col. Mike Metcalf, the Commander of the 117th Operations Group. “We’re picking up some of the load as the procurement of the next tanker is happening. As such, the community is moving into a realm where our employment might be different.”

The logistics involved in moving a large number of people and equipment were a key part of the operation.

The 117 ARW Inspector General office observed airmen in order to provide feedback that will let commanders know how to improve mission readiness in the future. The Air Mobility Command Inspector General office provided oversight to the 117 ARW IG office.