SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. – Airmen from Scott Air Force Base took part in a mobility deployment rehearsal from 16 to 25 April, 2022.  

During the rehearsal, Airmen from the 375th Air Mobility Wing ran the full gambit of deployment processes from notification, processing, standing up a mock base, and had their training tested all along the way in realistic scenarios—all with the goal of being ready to execute rapid global mobility, which is one of the core competencies of the Air Force. This rehearsal gives commanders an accurate picture of where their units can improve on to make them more effective, and as a result, makes our force more lethal.

 

 

Phase 1

During phase 1, the wing rehearsed their capability to deploy members as quick as possible.

Prior to the rehearsal, Airmen designated as “players” were notified that they would be taking part in the event. From there, they were issued their necessary equipment from firearms to Chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) equipment. The Airmen were then placed on standby and had a pre-designated time to respond to the call and act.

At the point of recall, the installation became live with activity. Personnel reported with bags in hand and began the processing—working their way through a pre-deployment function (PDF) line. Traveling to an international location can be a laborious task for an individual. To accomplish this, documents need to be processed, medical clearance needs to occur and arrangements need to be made.

 

 

This is where the streamlined and efficient logistical process of PDF lines truly shine. This gives the Air Force the capability to move personnel to any area around the globe within 24 hours’ notice. It requires an installation comprised of various career fields to deploy an Airman, especially at the PDF line. The PDF line has members from legal, medical, personnel and logistics to aid the Air forces most valued asset -- the Airman. The process is designed to take the stress and strain of a movement off of the personnel so they can focus solely on the mission.



 



 



Phase 2

Once arriving at the staging location, members from the 375th Civil Engineer Squadron were fast at work. They set up working facilities with all of the amenities required for extended stay in an area not particularly designed for the tasking. This process saw the building of tents wired with electricity and network connectivity. These members then focused on the sustainment of what is called a “cantonment area.” Throughout the rehearsal, they continued to mitigate issues that may have been safety concerns in inclement weather such as rain and harsh winds.

To accomplish this, Airmen donned mission oriented protective posture, better known as MOPP gear. During this time, participants were evaluated on proper wear and time taken to fully equip themselves. In real world scenarios, delay of mere seconds can be the difference between great bodily harm and even death. Airmen were then advised on the spot corrections in teachable moments. This increased their confidence with wear of the protective equipment. The intent of the training was to increase their survivability chances in real-world scenarios by familiarization with the process.

In addition to the installation and the Airman's capability being evaluated for the process of deployments, another facet that was at the center of this rehearsal was life sustaining operations under simulated fire and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear attacks.

Those who have been on a real-world deployment know that boots on the ground is simply the beginning of a potentially long and arduous time. The need for security, fire prevention and EOD are needed to protect assets both living and non-living. This is where the training and the expertise of those known as first responders becomes paramount for any mission. 

During the deployment rehearsal, members of the 375th Security Forces Squadron maintained the integrity of the simulated deployment area. They conducted sweeps of the area as well as safeguarded those under their protection by verifying all members entering the area had proper authentication. 

Members from the 375th Civil Engineer Squadron fire department also took part in training scenarios where they responded to vehicle accidents, medical emergencies and various other injects during the rehearsal. Firefighters are not only qualified in fire prevention but also as paramedics. The purpose for this is that firefighters may be the first on the scene and an instances where a delay in medical attention can be the difference between life and death, knowledge of self-aid and buddy care is paramount.

All of these scenarios and different Air Force Specialty Codes working together can be difficult to evaluate all at the same time. To ensure all parties involved can receive meaningful critique and help improve their skills, members from the wing inspectors general have subject matter experts called the Wing Inspection Team. Members of the WIT team, numbering near 100 members, identified with a blue safety vest evaluate members within their section and report their findings to IG at the conclusion of each day has well as after the completion of the rehearsal. 

After this two-week rehearsal, IG reported that the 375th Air Mobility Wing is and more than ready and capable to accomplish all of the nation’s mobility needs currently and within the future.