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Ellsworth hones readiness during exercise

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Hrair H. Palyan
  • 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
Ellsworth Airmen recently engaged in an Operational Readiness Exercise, March 19 to 22, designed to test the base's ability to mobilize, process equipment and deploy in response to a worldwide tasking.

The ORE covered a variety of B-1 bomber operations, including aircraft maintenance and support functions. Ellsworth aircrews conducted B-1 missions designed to test their ability to rapidly deliver precision and non-precision air strikes against enemy forces anywhere in the world.

"The goal during this ORE was to energize the wing's assessment of its deployment and employment readiness," explained Lt. Col. Barry Hutchison, 28th Bomb Wing chief of wing plans and programs. "This was our first opportunity to use new handling equipment in the cargo deployment function. Subsequently, the wing produced aircraft and munitions in preparation to meet an exercise air tasking order similar to missions expected in a deployed location."

Hutchison, whose primary role during the ORE was scenario development, execution and critique, said this ORE was also designed to challenge command and control relationships and evaluate senior leaders' access and ability to act upon information while preventing adversaries from gaining and exploiting information.

In addition, Airmen in a variety of non-aviation roles conducted active, hands-on training including a myriad of tasks to ensure the success of B-1missions.

Master Sgt. Jason Justice, 28th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron production superintendent, served as an exercise evaluation team member assigned to monitor the exercise process for the 28th Maintenance Group.

"I was responsible for overlooking operations and notating any discrepancies - proper wear of battle gear for work and prepping the aircraft for the exercise," Justice said. "As always, our Airmen performed outstandingly. Our folks were out there doing their job and making us all proud."

Justice added that OREs are especially important due to the fact that Ellsworth handled the majority of B-1 combat operations in Southwest Asia, deploying 12 out of every 18 months.

"It's easy to get in the mindset of, 'we deploy all the time - we know how to do it,'" emphasized Hutchison. "Exercises allow us to test proficiency on capabilities we don't commonly use. They are a valuable asset to this base, and are the reason why we've been able to successfully accomplish our missions."

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