MRX tests 93 AGOW, 23 WG integration
By Airman 1st Class Rachel Perkinson, 23rd Wing Public Affairs
/ Published September 02, 2021
MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --
The 820th Base Defense Group conducted a mission readiness exercise at Grand Bay Bombing and Gunnery Range near Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, and Avon Park Air Force Range, Florida, Aug. 23-27.
The exercise tested the 824th Base Defense Squadron members on their ability to execute tactics, techniques and procedures in preparation for potential real-world situations. Factoring in the agile combat employment concept, the 824th BDS focused on speed and efficiency for a lighter and leaner footprint down range.
“This mission readiness exercise is the first time we’ve had a team stationed at Moody and a team down at Avon Park,” said Senior Airman Scott Lemaster, 820th Combat Operations Squadron training instructor. “We’re getting everyone ready for when they go on immediate response force status where they can deploy within days.”
What separated this exercise from previous MRXs was the integration between 93rd Air Ground Operations Wing assets and the 23rd Wing’s multi-capable Airmen. These Airmen filled many roles - from securing assets to loading munitions onto A-10C Thunderbolt II aircraft.
“We had the 23rd Wing multi-capable Airmen come with us from Moody,” Lemaster said as one of the exercise evaluators. “They’re performing integrated combat turns while we, (the 824th BDS) secure the flight line. That’s great practice for air base defense which is what we’re going to do when we deploy, so getting that practice and those repetitions in is really helpful.”
Similar exercises have been conducted in the past with simulated assets to protect. However, conducting training with real assets provided a realistic edge and added an extra challenge for the Airmen.
Lemaster said each scenario was designed to test every individual by pitting them against de-escalation scenarios, fire fights and more.
While Airmen navigated the challenges at Avon Park, additional scenarios broke out at Grand Bay Range, integrating the 824th BDS with the 38th Rescue Squadron and 41st Rescue Squadron to conduct combat search and rescue. On the final day, the RQSs provided dedicated CSAR and casualty evacuations following a simulated attack.
“If we deploy as a lead wing, then it’s very likely we will be working in concert with each other in a combat capacity,” said 1st Lt. Brian Ayers, 38th Rescue Squadron assistant flight commander, Silver Flight. “Our missions complement each other in more ways than not. The more lessons we learn during peace could pay dividends later in combat.”
Overall, the exercise helped validate the 820th BDG’s capabilities and allowed the 38th RQS pararescuemen to get critical upgrade training while strengthening interagency operability between the units.