ALARM RED! Exercise prepares Sharks to deploy
By Airman 1st Class David Dobrydney , 45th SW Public Affairs
/ Published March 19, 2009
MALABAR TRAINING ANNEX, Fla. -- Last week the 125 members of the 45th Space Wing deployed to Baquba Air Base in Iraq without ever leaving Brevard County.
That's because Baquba Air Base is located at the Malabar Training Annex in Melbourne, where the members took part in a weeklong deployment exercise.
"Our goals were to demonstrate our ability to process all of our required cargo and personnel for deployment and then demonstrate our ability to employ our skills in a deployed environment," said Lt. Col. Nicholas Seward, who was in charge of the exercise.
Airmen were dealt various scenarios from mortars landing near buildings necessitating evacuation to adjacent facilities to potential chemical warfare. Teamwork was essential to react to the incidents in a timely manner.
Command Chief Master Sgt. Larry Malcom was one of the participants. "Readiness is paramount to our global mission and supporting the war fighter," he said. "Without exercises like Ocean Breeze where we practice 'engaging the enemy,' we will not remain vigilant."
Organizations from across the wing took part in the exercise. Tech. Sgt. Bella Smith of the 45th Medical Operations Squadron was particularly pleased with her team. "We took the [Emergency Evalutation Team's] constructive suggestions and integrated them into our simulated mission capabilities. I felt it was a job well done."
The Wing had conducted an exercise similar to this one in December. While this most recent exercise was more complex, with members now spending the night at the site in all their gear, the current "play area" is still comprised of only a few buildings and a small piece of the surrounding area.
"Changes are already in place to expand the area and eliminate obstructions allowing the participants greater visibility and more area to monitor," said Chief Master Sgt. Gary Moore, an evaluator for the exercise.
"The goals were brought together during the field exercise. Leadership from all levels brought the team together and they jelled as they improved internal processes and safe practices," said Sergeant Moore.
Colonel Seward was also pleased with the results. "I'm proud of the intensity and sense of urgency our exercise participants displayed last week," he said. "This same attitude will lead them to success during any deployment."