MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --
Team Moody’s 23rd Wing and 93rd Air Ground Operations Wing worked alongside various units and military branches while demonstrating their capabilities during a surge exercise Nov. 7-10.
The wing-wide readiness assessment conducted by the installation’s Inspector General team allowed each group’s designated wing inspection teams and group leads to separately inspect mission capabilities for the first time.
“Implementing an inspection process on a smaller scale was the goal of this surge exercise,” said Tech. Sgt. Ross Steigemeier, 23rd Wing NCO in charge of wing inspection teams. “This allowed each unit’s WIT the chance to govern themselves and improve their processes. Normally, [the 23rd Wing] IG team is responsible for conducting inspections and consolidating our findings to provide information on significant issues to the wing commander.
“If we spot an issue, we may not always have the answers on scene for every Air Force specialty on how to improve,” Steigemeier added. “That’s why it was important to have the unit’s group leads and WIT’s act as their own subject matter experts to figure out discrepancies and handle corrective action plans more efficiently. This allows them to internally find and resolve problems proactively, which better executes the mission.”
The 23rd Medical Group used this innovative system of self-sustainment by promoting more efficient and effective medical practices. During the exercise, Senior Master Sgt. Nicole Bradley, 23rd Aerospace Medicine Squadron superintendent said the 23rd MDG WIT’s ability to examine their capabilities during a simulated public health emergency was beneficial.
“It was a major advantage of having the WIT oversee how we reacted during the exercise,” Bradley added. “We processed [approximately 60] patients and had to administer aid to 25 with simulated flu-like symptoms during a public health emergency. [After the exercise], discussing and finding improvements to build on allowed us to better prepare for more extensive scenarios with additional units to be successful during public health emergencies.”
While the 23rd MDG fended off pathogens, the 23rd Maintenance Group helped propel the 23rd and 476th Fighter Group’s A-10C Thunderbolt II pilots to defend the skies. Moody’s A-10 pilots also shared air space with F-16CM Fighting Falcon pilots from South Carolina's Shaw Air Force Base’s 55th Fighter Squadron and partnered with various Joint Terminal Attack Controllers to perform close-air support missions.
According to Capt. Sean Griffin, 23rd Operations Support Squadron weapons and tactics flight commander, being a WIT observer was challenging, but participating as an A-10 pilot helped him and others overcome the stress of the limited air space, time constraints and mission demands during the surge.
“The surge challenged pilots and maintainers to keep up the pace and have continuity in a structured exercise that’s never been done before,” said Griffin. “We performed approximately 300 sorties and 500 man hours in total while maintenance did a great job of constantly having combat ready jets to meet our mission requirements. Everything we did prepared us to deploy as skilled warriors and practice our interactions downrange.”
Griffin says the exercise’s stressors maximized his capabilities and the opportunity to be a pilot while also planning, executing and debriefing during the surge was enjoyable.
“It was nice having our own surge with our own WIT observers because it allowed us to focus on our mission,” said Griffin. “Whether different mission assets have a lot of similarities or not, we never act alone. We are always integrating and this reliance keeps us in the fight.”