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Exercises on the horizon for 102nd Intelligence Wing

OTIS AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Mass. -- The last time the 102nd had an exercise scheduled on the calendar it was 2005 and that event never happened. Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) and our conversion put inspections and exercises on the back burner. As the new 102nd Intelligence Wing emerged - with the lack of clarity on what those inspections would look like and the different gaining major commands - it was even harder to plan or practice. It's still very fuzzy, but one thing is for certain: we will be held accountable to demonstrate our capabilities and we must continue to prepare our Airmen to respond during times of crisis. So...dust off your appointment letters, find your mobility bag and grab your Airman's Manual. We are back in the exercise game with two exercises planned for next year.

First on the calendar is a phase one mobility exercise scheduled for the May drill. For most unit members, the exercise will kick off when we run the recall roster (so please double check your contact info). We will be setting up a deployment control center, a personnel deployment function and a cargo deployment function. Approximately 75 unit members will be mobilized for CONUS/OCONUS or home station duty. This number is fairly small so we can get comfortable again with our processes and work through the unique issues that our new missions bring to the table. We will also task some equipment but with the loss of our aircraft, the cargo deployment function portion will be much smaller. The overall goal of the exercise is to refresh our memories, see what has changed, and figure out how our new missions impact our old way of doing business. 

In October 2010, we are scheduled to do a phase two exercise. Planning for this is still in the very early stages but first pass looks like it will be a classic ability to survive and operate event. We are looking at holding it at the Massachusetts Army National Guard's Tactical Training Base Kelley here on the Massachusetts Military Reservation. The main players will be the Medical Group, the Mission Support Group and the Wing staff functions, but anybody who wants to put on some chemical gear and dive under desks is welcome to join in. More on this event to follow.

So what can you do to get ready for these events? Check your own readiness - does the unit know how to reach you? Is your Personnel Readiness Folder, Servicemember Group Life Insurance and dependent care up to date? Also, if you have previous experience as an augmentee, let your squadron commander know. If you have responsibility for a functional area, look over the current regulations and guidance to see what has changed and start thinking about an execution plan. Finally, bring your questions, concerns and great ideas to the Exercise Evaluation Team Chief, Lt. Col. Eric Carlson, so we can get them addressed early. As we head into the fall, May might seem like a long time away, but it will be here before we know it.