SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany --
The 52nd Fighter Wing hosted a week-long readiness exercise here April 14-19, testing the base population’s response to a variety of potential scenarios.
“We have exercises to test the wing’s capability to operate in a wartime situation specifically in a chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear environment with an upscale of mission requirements either that is more sorties or more emergency responses,” said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Demarkus Littles, 52nd Fighter Wing Inspector General wing readiness exercise planner. “We are trying to put the wing through the wringer to see if they can handle the stress with different levels of mission-oriented protective posture gear while they are conducting their duties.”
This exercise is in conjunction with past exercises to implement the “crawl, walk, run” phase of using MOPP gear and the CBRN environment.
“This exercise was meant to be more complex, and we wanted to have more of a build-up not only CBRN, but conventional attacks and having more than one location hit at the same time,” said Littles. “We want to see how we could stress the wing and how they would flex to adapt to all the circumstances we threw at them, which was quite a few.”
“We definitely tested all the objectives that we wanted to test,” said Littles. “This type of exercise will definitely continue, and they will only become more complex because we feel like the Airmen that we have can handle it,” said Littles.
The ability of Airmen to survive and operate in a combat environment and effectively perform wartime missions is getting renewed attention in response to Department of Defense and the Air Force priorities calling for more focus on readiness. Base exercises are commonplace at Air Force installations worldwide, and Spangdahlem is no different.
“These exercises are crucial to ensure our Airmen are training to the highest levels of readiness,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Jason Bailey, 52nd Fighter Wing commander. “It was a challenging week, and we tested everyone to the max. There was intentionally more in this exercise than the previous iteration, and the wing did a phenomenal job. Each time we conduct an exercise we are ramping it up and the strides forward in our readiness have been massive.”
“I also would like to thank our local community, without their support our wing reaching this level of readiness and our support to NATO would not be possible,” said Bailey.