Base prepares for readiness inspection

DOBBINS AIR RESERVE BASE, Ga., -- Members of the 94th Airlift Wing participated in an Operational Readiness Exercise during the August UTA in preparation for the wing's Operational Readiness Inspection scheduled for 2008. 

The exercise simulated a short-notice deployment and demonstrated the importance of traditional reservists being fully qualified to deploy anywhere in the world at any given time. Members were divided into four groups or "chalks." Upon arrival to the simulated departure location, they each had to process through a series of stations, including: personnel, medical and chemical warfare. 

"Each participant needs to realize what their individual state of readiness is as well as the readiness of their squadron and the wing," said Col. Heath J. Nuckolls, 94th Airlift Wing commander. 

Air Force reservists must be ready to deploy in 72 hours if required. If they aren't, they must identify the areas needed to attain the required level of readiness, Colonel Nuckolls said. 

"There are no longer separate missions for active duty and reserve forces," said Capt. Marcus E. Smith, 94th Airlift Wing installation deployment officer. "We have to get into the mind set of total force integration." 

Reservists should have two priorities: First, to make sure that personnel and equipment are ready to deploy if required and second, they must ensure they can meet the taskings of the upcoming ORI, Colonel Nuckolls said. 

"This exercise is the first of its kind for the wing," said Col. Steven H. Slick, 94th Mission Support Group commander and troop commander for chalk two. "It gives both the facilitators and the members being processed a chance to address and correct any deployment issues in the event that they are mobilized." 

Being ready means having your personal affairs in order. 

"The Personnel Deployment Function line served as the last chance to catch any personnel discrepancies before members deployed," said Senior Master Sergeant Angela Cooper, NCOIC of the PDF. 

That also includes medical and dental records. 

"Be ready, be prepared and don't wait until the last minute to get your medical records updated," said Lt. Col. Kathy Keating, nursing administrator, 94th Aeromedical Staging Squadron.

"The unit should notify the member of medical requirements such as RCPHA and dental examinations at least six months prior to expiration. Up-to-date medical records will expedite the member's mobilization process." 

Many reservists were prepared because they communicated with their UDMs and knew what was required of them for the exercise. 

"My process went smoothly," said Senior Airman Yovunka Thorpe-Henry, Information management journeyman for the 94th Mission Support Squadron. "Things like my medical records, dog tags and gas mask fit test were verified by my unit prior to this exercise." 

The ORE proved to be a learning experience for wing members, their supervisors and commanders. This was the first of four OREs scheduled before the 2008 ORI, said Capt. Smith. 

"I would rate this exercise an overall success because of the wing participation." said Capt. Smith. "With the wing members' positive attitudes and high standards of excellence, the upcoming OREs will not only run smoother but more efficiently."