GOWEN FIELD, Idaho --
Members of the 124th Fighter Wing with the Idaho Air National Guard participated in a Major Readiness Exercise preparing Guardsmen to be combat ready for deployed scenarios, during an extended Unit Training Assembly February 8-10, 2019, here at Gowen Field in Boise, Idaho.
The exercise consisted of a 24-hour operation over the span of three days, giving Guardsmen experience in wartime-oriented training and an opportunity to adjust to daily work in potential chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threatened environments.
Senior Airman Mark Davis, an emergency management technician with the 124 Fighter Wing, said regardless of the circumstances the goal of the IDANG is to support the A-10 flying mission and, by combining all the moving elements, get jets in the air on time and on target.
During the MRE the Guardsmen were given alarm signals and tasked with Mission Oriented Protective Postures that consisted of protective gear and a gas mask in the event of a CBRN attack.
“It’s important for everyone to understand their role and how it relates to carrying out the operation,” said Lt. Col. Mike Knowles, the wing inspector general. “Everyone has a role; if everyone thinks through the frame of how they effect the operational mission, then that is what is going to continue to make us successful.”
Knowles acknowledged that communication is the hardest part, especially in the fog and friction of war, but the exercise provided a great learning opportunity to show how important it is to focus on our overall mission and support the operation at hand.
“The intent was for us to learn to operate, not just have the ability to survive,” said Knowles.
Now more prepared for a contingency operation, Davis said that he learned a lot about how he would approach different situations in a real-world environment, and the exercise has helped him and other Guardsmen be more proficient in their job.
The IDANG members sharpen their skills monthly to excel in their positions and having the opportunity during the MRE to take that experience one step further benefits the Air National Guard as well as the community