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JB MDL conducts AFFORGEN exercise: Jersey Dawn 23

  • Published
  • 87th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Members assigned to units from across Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst participated in the Air Force Force Generation exercise Jersey Dawn 23, a seven-day training event held Dec. 4-10, 2023.

The mobility AFFORGEN exercise enabled mission partners to collaborate and showcase emergency management and deployment readiness, while an Air Mobility Command Inspector General team assessed the installation’s ability to conduct and evaluate an exercise properly. Airmen assigned to the 87th Air Base Wing, the 621st Contingency Response Wing, the 305th Air Mobility Wing, the 514th AMW and the 108th Wing worked together to execute pre-deployment functions. This was then followed by a deployment to Naval Support Activity Lakehurst.

“Jersey Dawn is a readiness exercise to show that we can mobilize here at home station and deploy to an off-base, austere location,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Paul Murphy, 87th Air Base Wing inspector general. “The Emergency Management phase of Jersey Dawn was incorporated due to the current real-world environment. The stress is different, but it worked out because we’re a generation base; we support, and we’re typically doing our mission here.”

During the Emergency Management phase, the installation implemented a full-scale barrier implementation plan while Force Protection Measures were escalated to simulate a contested environment. The simulation heightened planning, directing and controlling forces during an incident that requires a cohesive response from all JBMDL mission partners.

“The command-and-control aspect was kind of turned on its head and it gave different people opportunities to lead in scenarios they’re not necessarily used to,” Murphy explained. “The biggest thing that came out of that was we got everyone’s attention, and it highlighted the complexity of the base with so many tenant units and different mission sets.”

Additionally, Jersey Dawn 23 gauged cargo and passenger deployment functions, as well as JBMDL’s Deployment Control Center. Airmen assigned to the 87th Medical Group and the 87th Mission Support Group processed members through pre-deployment functions such as completing health assessments, issuing individual protective equipment, and ensuring deployers received intelligence, legal and family readiness briefings.

“The deployment to NSA Lakehurst replicated AFFORGEN where contingency response stands up a mock base and then turns it over to civil engineers,” said Jeff Norway, 87th LRS installation deployment officer. “This shows we can execute a base transfer of control in a short amount of time.”

Jersey Dawn 23 gave JB MDL leaders an opportunity to assess discrepancies and highlight best practices to better thrive in an everchanging environment. The installation’s optimized posture propels the joint force to a higher level of readiness to support worldwide operations.

“I am proud of how our joint team displayed mission readiness and commitment to respond to simulated threats against our installation and the surrounding community throughout the exercise,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Anthony L. Smith, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst commander and the 87th Air Base Wing commander. “This simulated scenario tested our limits, but as a team we demonstrated our resolve and embodied the ethos of Warfighters Supporting Warfighters.”