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Maxwell Airmen prepare, exercise for combat

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Greydon Furstenau
  • Air University Public Affairs

The 42nd Mission Support Group hosted a Readiness Reset Exercise in which a small team of Airmen from across the base participated in rigorous combat scenarios Dec. 6–8, 2022.

The exercise focused on training for the next fight and preparing Airmen to support different functional areas within the MSG. The training event was purposefully built by senior noncommissioned officers to align with Air Education and Training Command's vision to develop Airmen with the competencies to win the high-end competition.

With the support of MSG commanders, the senior NCOs devised a three-day "building block" training event to challenge the participants with unfamiliar courses and scenarios.

The first day's objective was to push the team members out of their comfort zone to build mental and physical resiliency. The day started with a 4.2-mile ruck march to an obstacle course, followed by classroom time and weapons familiarization training.

"All the Airmen had positive attitudes while they were out there,” said Master Sgt. Eric Godinez, a 42nd Security Forces Squadron flight chief. "Having the background of a security forces weapons and tactics instructor was very helpful. I was able to teach Airmen at the basic level all the way up."

On day two, the team learned the skills needed to survive and operate in a contested environment, such as casualty care under combat, basic radio communications, and explosive ordinance hazards..

The third and final day culminated with exercising everything learned over the previous two days. The Airmen gathered in a field training area where, after being given a specific scenario, they operated as a team, responded to threats, and accomplished the mission. They focused on the combat skills necessary to operate and be successful in a cross-cultural and joint environment. 

This readiness reset exercise made Airmen feel more capable and ready. The exercise also had the interesting byproduct of building camaraderie. Airmen from all across the installation came together to solve problems, learn, adapt and apply. In just three days, they hopefully formed bonds that will help strengthen them for the future fight.

"When I showed up, I knew only one other person, which was my coworker. The other 12, I had never seen before, and after three days, I can call them friends," said Airman 1st Class Jeff Rodriguez, a radar, airfield and weather systems technician in the 42nd Operations Support Squadron. "It was a lot of work, a lot of sweating, and a lot of everything, but all that just helped forge a bond."

The plan is to revive and execute the exercise again in the future. Feedback from the Airmen who participated was positive, and many wanted more days. They hope that the event becomes part of the Airmen's culture at Maxwell and that they can execute the exercise themselves.

"These guys are amazing—the cadre, the commanders—for letting them go to work for this. This exercise has been in the works for the last two months. Thank you for everyone taking their time to do this and giving their one hundred percent these last three days," said Chief Master Sgt. Kristin Thompson, senior enlisted leader, 42nd Force Support Squadron.