319th RW airmen complete readiness exercise validation

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Ashley Richards
  • 319th Reconnaissance Wing Public Affairs

The 319th Reconnaissance Wing tested its ability to rapidly mobilize and establish flight operations in an austere environment during Readiness Exercise Validation Global Griffin 09-22 held Sept. 26-30, on Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota.

The five-day, multi-phase exercise focused on a short-notice deployment where more than 150 airmen across the wing worked together to operate from a simulated forward operating location in the Indo-Pacific Region.

"The mission of the 319th is to provide combat ready airmen and air power to the fight, and that's exactly what our Griffins exercised this week," said Col. Timothy Curry, the commander of the 319th Reconnaissance Wing. "Our airmen are operating in a rapidly changing, highly contested environment. Tomorrow's war will not look like conflicts of the past, and the 319th is ensuring our Griffins are ready to adapt and compete with future challenges."

Twelve members from the Inspector General’s office at Air Combat Command came to assess the 319th RW’s capability to conduct combat operations against near-peer threats and the 319th RW Inspector General office’s ability to assess and provide meaningful feedback to the Wing said Robert Zafke, 319th RW IG Director of Inspections.

“This was the first time we have executed this style of readiness exercise under Air Combat Command,” Zafke said. “It was awesome to see our plans come together and the execution of the exercise.”

Scenarios played out both day and night, requiring participants to prepare, respond and recover from combat situations while integrating Agile Combat Employment training capabilities. 

Lt. Col. Christopher Warms, the exercise deployment’s commanding officer, said many airmen were performing duties outside of their primary specialties. Multi-Capable Airmen are a key component to the ACE operational scheme. 

“To advance against near peer adversaries, our mindsets need to change,” Warms said. “We need to do our jobs and do them well, but also understand when to jump in and assist where help is needed.”

Events like this exercise showcase airmen’s abilities to adapt to new and unfamiliar environments and ensures there are innovative, exceptional, combat-ready airmen to fuel the fight.

“This exercise was a unique opportunity for our airmen to be able to physically put themselves into a high-stress environment to see how they react, adapt and persevere in a situation,” Warms said