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NEWS | June 13, 2024

West Virginia Air National Guard Wing Conducts ’Super Drill’

By Senior Master Sgt. Emily Beightol-Deyerle, 167th Airlift Wing, West Virginia Air National Guard

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The 167th Airlift Wing conducted an annual extended drill June 6-9 at Shepherd Field.

In contrast to the standard two-day drill weekend, the four-day assembly is known as “super drill“ and offers more time for wing members to complete annual readiness requirements and focus on specialty training.

“Our first priority was to ensure our deployers are taken care of and ready to head out the door later this month,” said Col. Martin Timko, 167th Airlift Wing commander. “Ready Airmen training was our other main priority.”

The extended drill enabled Airmen to complete training on tasks to be used in a contingency environment.

The Civil Engineering Squadron conducted Rapid Airfield Damage Repair training, performing 11 repairs in four hours. Over four days, 90% of squadron members familiarized themselves with the training.

“To be able to get our guys together for four consecutive days allowed us to get the newer members fully trained on things they’ve never seen,” said Senior Master Sgt. Matt Laign, 167th Civil Engineering operations manager. “We were able get them spun up for a contingency environment where they will be tested to perform these tasks.”

CE members also set up small systems shelters.

Services Airmen were trained to set up small systems shelters and the single-pallet expeditionary kitchen tent, both of which are often used in field operations.

“It was good training as this is what we would do when we go down range,” said Master Sgt. Sara Church, 167th Force Support Squadron sustainment services superintendent. “The ability to perform these tasks during a regular drill is very limited. These four days gave us time to focus on these tasks.”

The 167th Logistics Readiness Squadron facilitated the Personnel Deployment Function and Cargo Deployment Function lines for deploying members and conducted more in-depth, on-the-job training.

“We ran the CDF and PDF for the upcoming deployment, and we were able to focus on more concentrated career field-specific training,” said Capt. Heather Kitay, 167th LRS director of operations. “But it’s also an opportunity to connect with people more than you normally would during a regular drill.”

167th LRS air transportation specialists prepared for operations in a contingency environment by building pallet trains for oversized cargo, which is common in a deployment but rarely needed at home station.

“Super drill is a necessity for us because we can go out and focus on our jobs and get important hands-on training,” said Master Sgt. Chris Crowell, 167th air freight section chief.

The 167th Operations Squadron conducted deployment outprocessing for their deploying Airmen and performed integrated mission sorties to enhance refueling capacities and increase global mobility.

“The training being conducted for a four-day drill is just one of the benefits,” said Lt. Col. Ryan Hawk, chief pilot for the 167th Operations Squadron. “Super drill also allows socialization and camaraderie within the unit.” 

 

 

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