NEWS | April 12, 2021

145th Airlift Wing prepares for readiness exercise

By Airman 1st Class Reanna Hartgrove, 145th Airlift Wing, North Carolina Air National Guard

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Airmen from the 145th Airlift Wing prepare for a large-scale readiness exercise (LRE) conducted in Gulfport, Mississippi, throughout 2021. The large-scale readiness exercise is a comprehensive appraisal of the readiness and precision of our forces. This exercise is an opportunity for Airmen to work alongside each other while working towards the common goal of preparation and readiness.

The 145th Communications Flight plays an essential role in preparation for the large-scale readiness exercise.

“Technology is the backbone of operations,” stated Chief Master Sgt. Maria Panaro, the 145th Communications Flight chief enlisted manager. “We are providing network access, laptops, printers, radio communications and more.”

Part of the exercise is to establish communication operations in a mock deployment environment. This practice exercise allows the 145th to straighten out any wrinkles in routine procedures and conduct practices that are not common in their day-to-day operations before the large-scale readiness exercise.

“From a communications perspective, we’re pretty on point with being innovative and providing new solutions,” explained Panaro. “Our objective is to master our MOPP (Mission Oriented Protective Posture) levels and to get into our gear.”

The 145th are responsible for ensuring that the necessary communication and technology forms are provided and mission-ready even when they are not frequently used.

“It’s going to be a great opportunity for the base to get a fresh look at the value of communications, especially with radio because it’s one of those things that doesn’t come up until it’s needed,” said Tech. Sgt. Matthew Lee, 145th Communications Flight radio-frequency non commissioned officer in charge.

According to Panaro, the 145th will be packing up equipment such as laptops, printers, and radios for the large-scale readiness exercise and using the network in Gulfport, Mississippi. Communications will serve as the liaison between the owners of the network and their customers.

“An exercise like this hasn’t taken place in years, so it is very important,” disclosed Lee. “I’m looking forward to seeing how things turn out.”

The 145th Communications Flight continues to work hard to ensure the base has the fundamental technology and communication needs to be successful for both day-to-day operations and uncommon exercises. “I think lessons will be learned from the flyaways of this event,” added Panaro, “I’m pretty confident we will have a successful large-scale readiness exercise.”