EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska --
The 354th Fighter Wing's mission is to prepare, deploy, and enable Airmen. To help them prepare for contingencies, Eielson conducts various exercises to ensure Airmen are ready.
Beginning on April 2, the 354th FW conducted exercise Arctic Gold 17-5 to promote the readiness and ability of Airmen to complete the mission in a specific type of situation.
"We are using Arctic Gold 17-5 to hone our contingency skills to strengthen wing readiness and validate our procedures to prepare Eielson personnel and assets to support combatant commanders when called upon,” said Col. Richard Cole, the 354th Mission Support Group commander and Deployed Forces commander for AG 17-5. “Contingency skills must be practiced and refreshed periodically because they are perishable skills.”
As part of the United States Pacific Command, an aspect of the Eielson Air Force Base mission is to help enhance stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. Exercises like AG 17-5 prepare Airmen to do their part in making that happen.
“These types of exercises are used to instill a "Fight Tonight" mentality into our Icemen Team,” said Cole. “The ability to transition fluidly from peacetime to war is critical for our personnel, who are preparing to employ a 5th generation aircraft response in the near future.”
All around the Air Force, Airmen are routinely deployed. By creating simulated scenarios in AG 17-5, Airmen are better prepared to go at a moments notice and to serve as force enablers in the mission to sustain regional security."
“These types of exercises get you in the mindset to be ready to deploy,” said Master Sgt. James Williams, a 354th Logistics Readiness Squadron plans and programs NCOIC. “They also help you get your pre-deployment training done before you’re tasked to deploy.”
Conducting exercises is important not only for Airmen, but for their families as well to help prepare them for an actual deployment.
“Support from our families is key,” said Cole. “This support helps us to free our mind so we can go overseas or wherever we are needed to get the mission done.”
AG 17-5, scheduled to occur until April 7, is part of a series of readiness exercises.