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NEWS | Oct. 4, 2021

163d Airmen train on readiness in Exercise Grizzly Lightning

By Staff Sgt. Javier Alvarez, 163rd Attack Wing

MORENO VALLEY, Calif. – Airmen with the 163d Attack Wing participated in a readiness training exercise at March Air Reserve Base Oct. 2-3.

The two-day event, dubbed Grizzly Lightning 21-1, was phase one of a three-phase exercise. The wing simulated the deployment of 120 Airmen in response to a conflict with a near-peer adversary, said Maj. Rey Tanuwiedjaja 163d Attack Wing director of inspections.

“For the last 20 years, we were so focused on counterinsurgency, but now the time is to refocus our efforts and ensure that we are capable of fighting a near-peer threat,” Tanuwiedjaja said. “Our goal is to validate readiness. Are we ready to change our posture from peacetime to wartime, and are we ready to fight that near-peer adversary?”

This type of exercise helps units identify and improve bottlenecks in their process.

“Our warehouse is laid out this way because of lessons learned from other training exercises,” said Master Sgt. Mary Ruiz, 163d Logistics Readiness Squadron senior noncommissioned officer in charge of war readiness. “We can’t be having to pull necessary items off the shelf with a forklift when Airmen need to be going out the door immediately.”

Over the past year, Logistics Readiness Squadron Airmen supported various missions across the state and overseas.

“We provided gear to service members deploying overseas, as well as some who were responding to the civil unrest mission, food banks, and providing fire support across California.”

Every wing is required to do some form of readiness exercise the inspector general evaluates annually.

“We’ve captured a lot of good data on possible limitations that could come up,” Tanuwiedjaja said. “Learning that in an exercise will help should a real-world event play out.”

Subsequent portions of the exercise, named Grizzly Thunder 22-2, are scheduled for February.