Airmen cultivate techniques for wartime during mock deployment
By Airman 1st Class Erica Stewart, 30th Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 05, 2007
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Approximately 185 Airmen representing almost every squadron on base deployed Feb. 21 to a remote, off base location for a North Star field training exercise Feb. 21-23.
The exercise came to a close Feb. 23 after the Airmen spent three days and two nights in the field. They were evaluated and learned techniques such as Self Aid Buddy Care, reaction to incoming fire mortars and sniper fire, team movement, Mission Oriented Protective Posture Levels and weapon familiarization.
In addition to the mock deployed experience, Vandenberg Airmen faired storm weather, set up camp and ensured 100 percent accountability.
"The North Star Exercise put us up against mother nature, that's for sure!" Sam Treat, 30th Space Wing Inspector General flight chief said. "All in all it was a slow paced deployment and the weather defiantly took it toll on everyone," he said.
Waging "war" against the extremities was just one factor of this mock deployed environment that provided challenging experiences.
"It's an environment that allows all organizations to play as close as possible to a deployed experience," Lt. Col. Patrick Donley, 30th Security Forces Commander said. "I hope that Airmen take with them familiarity with equipment. The more that we get to use different equipment we are able to gain the opportunity to learn where we need to improve on our skills," he said.
Throughout the week, deployers were tested with mortar attacks and during the evening, after evaluations had stopped, the trainers from Combat Skills Training continued through out the night with probing and fire fights against the camp.
"I feel that the North Star really helps prepare Airmen for what happens down range," Senior Airmen George Krill, 30th Launch Control Group said. "It puts Airmen in real world situations that likely to happen in a deployed environment."
March 23, the last day of this North Star exercise, a final over-run of the camp from enemy forces allowed all personnel to react and use team movement skills to defend their positions, Mr. Treat said. "Everyone got some trigger time."
Despite the inclement weather, the participants stayed focused on the mission.
"We have had zero complaints on the Airmen's motivation," Colonel Donley said. "There are some things that we found that we need to improve on but as long as motivation and positive attitudes are there, Vandenberg Airmen are moving in the right direction," he said.