Exercise tests mettle of troops at Kadena
KADENA AIR BASE, Okinawa — Kadena personnel are training to perform in a simulated hostile environment.
The war exercise, which began Saturday, is “urgently” needed, said Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Remington, Kadena’s 18th Wing commander, in a prepared statement.
“It is imperative that every person in the wing be prepared for deployment.”
Since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, some 3,200 Kadena troops have deployed to 50 locations around the world for operations and exercises.
During the exercise, people from Kadena’s inspector general’s office scour the base, assessing Kadena’s war-fighting capabilities.
The premise of the exercise: Kadena personnel are to assume they’ve just been sent to a fictitious “Base X” and must deploy rapidly, to fly and fix aircraft in a deployed environment and simultaneously to respond to enemy attacks.
“The scenario is one of a simulated foe similar to one we might really have to face,” said Kadena spokesman Charles Steitz.
The Air Expeditionary Force concept has the Kadena’s 18th wing on call to deploy during certain timeframes, said Steitz who noted that, in the past, Kadena units have deployed to Turkey and Saudi Arabia as an AEF.
The exercise requires personnel to demonstrate how well they are trained to survive and operate in hostile environments, away from their home base.
During a mock chemical attack, for instance, base personnel must demonstrate they know how to don protective gear and operate while wearing it.
The exercise also will test the base’s ability to recover rapidly from an enemy attack while “finding creative ways to complete the mission with fewer resources,” Remington said.
During the first phase of the exercise Kadena personnel generated aircraft, processed personnel and equipment for deployment and finally deployed to a notional forward area. That phase ended Monday. On Tuesday, Kadena roped off and transformed certain areas of the base into their notional Base X.
During phase two of the exercise, Kadena transitioned from peace to wartime.
The exercise is an operational readiness exercise that has been designated Beverly High 03-1 Exercise NEW VISION.
Kadena personnel deployed to “Base X” for a similar exercise in August that tested the base’s initial readiness response and combat employment readiness.
At that time, Lt. Col. Lynn Broome, Kadena’s chief of wing exercises and inspections, said Kadena troops showed a “quantum leap” in their ability to process large numbers of personnel and cargo.