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NEWS | March 6, 2023

Mississippi Air Refueling Wing Practices Rapid Response

By Senior Airman Alexandria Fulton, 186th Air Refueling Wing

KEY FIELD AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Miss. - The 186th Air Refueling Wing conducted a large-scale readiness exercise Feb. 28-March 3 at the Combat Readiness Training Center in Gulfport.

The exercise allowed Airmen to demonstrate their ability to operate in a contested, degraded and operationally limited environment.

“It’s important to know our strengths and weaknesses to ensure we are always mission ready no matter the environment,” said Lt. Col. Vaughn Threatt, the Emergency Operations Center director who led the exercise.

Each section underwent various simulated threats to evaluate their ability to deploy quickly.

Air Mobility Command and wing inspection team inspectors assessed the Airmen responding to scenario injects.

Lt. Col. James Hamrick, 186th ARW Wing inspector general, explained that “capabilities not tested can’t be trusted.”

“These simulations allow our Airmen to train in a real-world environment so when they are in a deployed location, they can rely on their skills and training to accomplish the mission,” said Hamrick.

The wing inspection team evaluated Airmen on their ability to defend the base, conduct maintenance on aircraft, find and rescue downed Airmen, and perform duties while wearing Mission Oriented Protective Posture gear.

“The men and women of Key Field are to be commended for their high level of professionalism and dedication during the LRE,” said Threatt. “We had many different functional areas such as medical, services, civil engineering, security forces, operations, headquarters staff, maintenance, and logistics come together and make the weekend a success.”

The 186th Air Refueling Wing provides over 1,100 personnel and eight KC-135R aircraft to Air Mobility Command for worldwide operations. The wing also supports domestic counter-drug and emergency response missions and overseas combatant commander requirements with an RC-26B aircraft. Additional units at Key Field include the 238th Air Support Operations Squadron, the 248th Air Traffic Control Squadron, and the 186th Air Operations Group.



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