ORE puts Moody to test

  • Published
  • By Col. Kenneth Todorov
  • 23rd Wing commander
For more than 96 straight hours last week, Moody Air Force Base was tested on how well we could get our people and assets out the door to support a worldwide tasking during the Operational Readiness Exercise.

There was a lot of hard work put in around the clock by Moody Airmen, and I was very pleased with how the wing came together. I think it is safe to say we all learned a lot from the exercise.

In addition to the normal challenges and difficulties a deployment exercise presents, this was the first time the Flying Tigers fully flexed our muscle and "deployed" both combat search and rescue and A-10 assets simultaneously. Although Moody Airmen are no strangers to deployments and stay at the forefront of the Global War on Terror, this exercise required us to test these capabilities in a different and large-scale way.

No other location saw just how monumental this task was than our mobility processing area. The mobility machine really stepped up and performed admirably. By the second day, they hit their stride and had overcome a mountain of obstacles. Well done!

The exercise also required a total team-effort from the entire base and a positive attitude from our Airmen. I observed this personally throughout the week as I checked in with organizations around the base and saw Airmen engaged in their work, while making sure the job was getting done safely. Undoubtedly, there were plenty of tough situations, but you were able to do the job and keep a smile on your face.

Teamwork was especially evident in a couple of the critical tasks required to quickly and safely deploy the base. The Security Forces and mobility augmentees took on their required extra duties and allowed this base to deploy while staying safe at the same time.

In an exercise of this magnitude, there should never be an Airman who thinks, "I'm not playing." Exercises like these require the best from every Airman, regardless of their rank or duty. We all need to step up and help our fellow Wingmen.

We learned there is still some work to be done in regards to the augmentee program. To make this happen, I've personally challenged our Command Chief Chief Master Sgt. Paul Burgess to re-look at the program, make it more comprehensive and allow each unit to contribute its fair-share.

The exercise also demonstrated a need to work on communication between leadership and our Airmen. Supervisors need to ensure they're keeping their Airmen informed; everything from "Why we're in Charlie?" to the purpose behind these exercises.

Another thing the exercise showed us was a need to re-emphasize the importance of mobility readiness. Every 23rd Wing Airman has the responsibility to be prepared to deploy when tasked. Having your mobility and personal matters taken care of goes hand-in-hand with one of my main priorities for this wing: "Be prepared to deploy."

Based on the initial observations and feedback, overall the base performed well. However, there's plenty of room to improve and we'll be giving you more opportunities to put the lessons learned into practice in the near future.

Most importantly, though, thank you to everyone who got the job done. Sometimes it may seem like no one notices, but you all play a huge role in making this base succeed, whether it's manning an overnight unit control center, standing in the rain guarding your post or marshalling cargo.

It's each of you who make this base operate, and I applaud your efforts and thank you for your dedication and hard work.