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Team Dover Participates in East Coast Combat Operations Exercise
Team Dover members inventory items in their issued deployment bags April 4, 2014, at the deployment processing line on Dover Air Force Base, Del. Personnel from the 436th Logistics Readiness Squadron deployment line processing section assisted deploying personnel inventory two deployment bags issued to them as part of a deployment exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo/Roland Balik)
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Ready, set, deploy

Posted 4/14/2014   Updated 4/15/2014 Email story   Print story


by Airman 1st Class William Johnson
436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

4/14/2014 - DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. -- The 436th Airlift Wing worked alongside the 512th Airlift Wing and three other wings to conduct a seven-day long deployment exercise known as the East Coast Combat Operations Exercise.

The ECCOEX consisted of two major components; the simulated deployment of roughly 400-500 Airmen and tactical flying exercises consisting of semi-prepared runway operations while integrating with the 621st Contingency Response Wing from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.

David Johnson, 436th AW deputy director of inspections, said the exercise ensures the units on base, including the reserves, are readily available to deploy a large number of Airmen while supporting the day-to-day operations of Dover Air Force Base.

"We typically don't deploy in a large mass like this," said Johnson. "However, this is a capability we need to maintain and be able to execute when called upon."

The exercise involved a majority of the units on base and gave Airmen a chance to gauge their mission readiness by working longer days with heavier workloads, processing through deployment lines and going through pre-deployment training such as Self-Aid and Buddy Care and Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear defense training.

One way Airmen were able to assess their own deployment readiness was to process through the personnel deployment function line. The purpose of processing through the PDF line is to ensure Airmen are financially, medically and legally able to deploy.

1st Lt. Christopher Trejo, 436th Force Support Squadron civilian personnel section chief, and 2nd Lt. Adara Scholl, 436th Mission Support Group executive officer, were the officers in charge of the PDF line and Trejo said the 512th AW played a major role in operations.

"Without the contributions from our sister squadron in the reserve wing, we would not have had a successful PDF line," said Trejo. "This strengthened the relationship between the 436th FSS and our reserve counterparts in the 512th AW."

The ECCOEX was logistically demanding of the 436th and 512th Maintenance Groups. The groups were responsible for generating and processing cargo along with inspecting, servicing and launching aircraft to meet the operational requirements of the exercise.

Lt. Col. Richard Fletcher, 436th MXG deputy commander, said the exercise was a fantastic opportunity to surge the capabilities of the MXG and demonstrate what they can do on a day-to-day basis in a high stress environment.

"There was a tremendous amount of cooperation between the Operations Group, MXG and MSG to generate cargo and aircraft to meet the mission requirements," said Fletcher. "The Airmen from the 436th and the 512th were invaluable to the success of this unique training opportunity."

Through coordination with multiple wings and a mission planning cell, the 436th AW and the 512th AW focused flight training on airborne command and control. The focus of this was to use secure communications that enable the dynamic tasking of airborne aircraft to a variety of airfields. The missions incorporated air-refueling, tactical approaches and departures, semi-prepared runway operations and ground operations with the 621st CRW throughout the entire exercise.

This was the first major exercise at Dover AFB under the new wing inspection process and Johnson said the new system enabled for more flexible planning of the scenarios and training.

"This exercise was a first for Dover AFB," said Johnson. "We anticipate this prototype will be utilized and further developed in the upcoming years."

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