Cultivating a culture of readiness

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. David Liapis
  • 39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs Office
Airmen across Incirlik Air Base are preparing in a variety of ways for planned training exercises scheduled to take place here in the coming weeks.

The scripted scenarios can include everything from medical emergencies to aircraft accidents. They are designed to integrate and test various emergency response agencies and other wing functions.

"Cultivating a culture of readiness is what we do as a military organization," said Col. Craig Wills, 39th Air Base Wing commander. "Since we have no way of knowing what tomorrow will bring, we prepare today by exercising a variety of scenarios so we're ready for anything that comes our way."

The scenarios vary in scope and implementation. Some are simply "table-top" exercises that don't involve the actual movement of people and resources, while others require active participation by multiple wing functions such as fire emergency services and aircraft crash recovery.

"By providing a variety of different ways in which to exercise, we tailor the opportunities to fit the units' needs," said Capt. Janice Murray, 39th ABW plans and readiness chief. "Each exercise will vary depending on the requirements and the individualized objectives of the unit."

Some scenarios, such as an active shooter or others that initiate "shelter in place" actions can involve family members and civilian employees as well. In some cases, all movement is restricted in the "play areas" that include many support facilities such as the Exchange and commissary.

"The reality is that any major event that happens on base, whether it's a fire, aircraft accident or departure of non-combatants, will likely impact every person here," said Wills. "It's important to integrate everyone from Airmen to civilian employees to spouses and children into our readiness training, especially at an overseas location such as Incirlik."

The actions that take place during these events are assessed and graded by special a group of people called the Wing Inspection Team to ensure the training objectives are being met and accomplished safely. The WIT is comprised of functional experts from almost every organization on base.

"The WIT is comprised of hand-picked representatives who provide the diverse expertise necessary to create a realistic exercise environment," said Murray. "The existence of the WIT allows the Inspector General team to broaden its reach into the units by utilizing the squadron's very own subject matter experts in the evaluator role."

All members of Team Incirlik are encouraged to participate in the upcoming exercises as appropriate or required. All customer service functions will remain open during normal business hours. However, be prepared to adjust plans in the event that a scenario affects the area you are in or planning to visit.

"I hope everyone is as excited as I am about training and exercises," said Wills. "Readiness is what we strive for, it's what we do, it's what we live. Here at Incirlik Air Base, we are ready!"