42nd Mission Support Group challenges Airmen during readiness exercise

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Lindsay Cryer
  • Air University Public Affairs

A group of 42nd Mission Support Group Airmen were challenged to acquire and then demonstrate combat readiness skills during the Readiness Reset exercise recently.

Event organizers planned four days of exercises April 3-6, 2023, to introduce 16 Airmen to agile combat employment and multi-capable Airman concepts.

Some of the exercises included mission command, creation of mission type operation orders, improvised explosive device and unexploded ordnance awareness, small unit tactics and Tactical Combat Casualty Care.

“It’s essential to prepare Airmen because near-peer competitors will not allow our Airmen to organize for deployments as we did before,” said Readiness Reset project leader Chief Master Sgt. Kerry Thompson, 42nd Security Forces Squadron senior enlisted leader. “This next fight will require Airmen who can operate in small teams and squad-sized elements to project power from small non-enduring locations for 24-72 hours under mission-type orders.”

The lead planner for this iteration shared how this exercise supports the new Air Force Force Generation model. The AFFORGEN model ensures a sustainable force offering of Airmen and airpower to the Joint Force.

“When we deploy, we are required to perform multiple mission sets and work alongside other Air Force specialty codes and joint partners. It’s not just security forces that will be responsible for base defense when we head downrange. It will be a total force effort,” said the exercise lead planner, Master Sgt. Daryl Ables, 42nd Security Forces Squadron non-commissioned officer in charge of training.” The Readiness Challenge has demonstrated the ability of members from various units to work together to complete the mission and underscored the importance of interoperability among Airmen.” 

Additional goals of this Readiness Reset exercise was to build cohesiveness, develop teams of similar skill sets, and foster esprit de corps through ACE and MCA concepts to ensure mission success.

The Readiness Reset exercise culminated with the Airmen executing the acquired concepts during the Crusader Challenge on the final day of the exercise.  

“The Crusader Challenge taught us that we must step up and leave our comfort zone to excel at executing the mission. Taking these concepts and applying them to real life will help us personally and professionally,” said Airman Erica Perkio, 42nd Force Support Squadron. “My highlight from the challenge was seeing us all go from strangers to trusted teammates. We worked as a team to successfully execute a cross-functional mission together.”

One participant said he learned invaluable leadership lessons from the training.

“This challenge gave us many opportunities to work on our leadership skills in stressful situations. We learned to execute to our fullest capacity. The plan is for us to take back the concepts and leadership skills to enhance our workplaces,” said Staff Sgt. Donovan Slaton, 42nd Operations Squadron. “The highlight of the challenge was becoming a cohesive team and taking on the challenge presented to us.”