436th OG prepares to transport Airmen, fly missions during ORI

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman James Bolinger
  • 436th AW Public Affairs
Every Airman works toward one mission during an operational readiness inspection, the safe launching of aircraft supporting operations at a forward deployed location. Security Forces provide security, maintainers keep aircraft operational, loggies provide equipment and vehicles to move servicemembers, porters palletize and load cargo, and medics keep Airmen in the fight.

These support functions keep Dover's C-17s and C-5s and their aircrew ready for any contingency. Pilots and loadmasters from Dover's airlift squadrons will transport Team Dover to the ORI location and then perform stateside missions as part of the exercise and the 436th Operations Support Squadron will run the air-traffic control tower and RAPCON.

These three squadrons comprise the 436th Operations Group, and Dover's Airmen revolve around their mission requirements.

"Since last fall we have been building up to the ORI," said Master Sgt. Jeremy Jacobs, 436th OG readiness NCO in-charge. "All of our squadrons participated in the fly-away and all the (deployment exercises) along with flying real-world missions."

The servicemembers of the operations group, like many squadrons throughout the base, have taken time out of their work days and weekends to be successful during the ORI.

"We had lots of real-world missions going on during the DEPEXs," said Maj. John Liebl, 436th OG readiness chief. "During a DEPEX, you have a build up, a deployment and a draw down. In addition, we fly two or more missions a day, have several crews on alert and fly local missions. It's a lot to do in one week."

The biggest challenge has been identifying participants and trying to manage their flying schedules around all of the DEPEXs leading up to the ORI, said Master Sgt. Wendell Strange, 9th Airlift Squadron assistant unit deployment manager.

Despite this, Major Liebl said Dover's Airmen succeeded.

"At the increased operations level, people were fantastic," he said. "Dover really stepped up and surpassed my expectations."

The operations group has been preparing for the ORI with MOPP drills and ability to survive and operate days at work.

"It has been a team effort for the (unit deployment managers) of the 3rd, 9th and OSS to get everyone prepared," he said. "Making sure mobility folders meet regulations and standards, people have the correct ground crew ensemble and their immunizations are up to date. Just making sure everyone is good to go."

The DEPEXs were a successful tool to train Airmen, said Major Liebl.

"The Haunted House Battle Ax Exercise, emphasized reacting to threats on the ground," he said. "Also, the fly-away was a huge training opportunity."

Operations group members an important mission during the ORI: flying missions and supporting units down range.

"(The 9th AS) provides the 805 Air Expeditionary Wing with combat-ready aircrews so that it can provide airlift to and from the area of responsibility," said Sergeant Strange.

Months of training and preparation have led up to the ORI and the OG is ready to go.