Sabers hone deployment skills

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany -- The 52nd Fighter Wing wrapped up Saber Crown 07-01 Oct. 5, a wing-level deployment exercise that highlighted and challenged Sabers on some of the critical skills they need to remain proficient at as they go about their daily missions. 

This was the first exercise after the normally heavy permanent change of station moves that take place over the summer and was designed to "knock the rust off our mobility machine," said Maj. Ryan Nichols, 52nd Fighter Wing Plans, Programs and Inspections chief. 

The scenario prompted the 52nd FW to respond to a deployment of mostly support personnel and their cargo to another location within the European Command area of operations. 

To accomplish this scenario, the wing "deployed" approximately 100 people and about 60 tons of cargo to an air base in Turkey, said Airman Peyton Ferguson, 52nd Logistics Readiness Squadron Deployment Control Center logistics journeyman. 

These types of exercises provide the cargo deployment function significant training opportunities, but this time the 52nd FW and the 726th Air Mobility Squadron teamed up and demonstrated maximum cooperation and flexibility by sharing equipment and processing the last three chalks together. 

"They offered up the use of their scales, one interior 60,000 pound aircraft loader parking bay and ramp space to assist us," said Senior Master Sergeant Thomas Walls, 52nd Logistics Readiness Squadron superintendent. 

On top of the Phase I deployment, the wing also tackled an Emergency Management exercise planned and executed by the 52nd FW Exercise Evaluation team. Typically, emergency management scenarios include major accidents, incidents with weapons of mass destruction, natural disasters and other attacks. Scenarios are carefully developed to prepare Sabers to deal with emergencies before they end up in a real-life situation. 

During the EM exercise, the teamwork, timing and resource management of the emergency response crews was superb, said Master Sgt. Marcus Thomas, 52nd FW Inspections Office NCOIC Emergency Management.
Responding to an emergency management exercise requires active and aggressive involvement by all members on scene and the training is relevant to real-world situations. 

"The wing inspections office and the EET go to great lengths to offer a realistic training opportunity for our members," said Master Sgt. George King, 52nd FW Inspections Office NCOIC Phase I inspections. "People are only cheating themselves if they don't react with realism to the scenario." 

The next exercise, scheduled for November, will focus on the employment of forces and will challenge Sabers on those tasks they could be called on to perform while downrange.