When real meets readiness

by SSgt Tinese Jackson and Airman 1st Class Gwendalyn Smith
Osan Air Base

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- For many military members stationed in Korea, the day-to-day operations are much more intensive than that of their stateside counterparts. Between daily tasks and sustaining the warfighter mission this is especially true during base-wide exercises.

Team Osan’s 731st Air Mobility Squadron is responsible for four Patriot Express missions a week with anywhere up to 100 passengers per express mission, even during exercises.

“We have a normal mission tempo, but our manning is not as high as standard ports,” said Master Sgt. Liselle Bracey, 731 AMS passenger services superintendent. “We are doing a lot of missions with less people. We are a tenant unit to the wing, so we just try to play as much as we can. There are no days off during the exercise so everyone gets their fair share of experience.”

Although the primary focus for the 731st is the Patriot Express during armistice, the warfighter mission is just as much of a priority.

“A lot of people think we just move passengers who are PCS’ing, but we don’t, we are responsible for so much more,” said Tech. Sgt. Audy Cayanan, 731st AMS passenger terminal operations NCOIC. “The terminal was originally built as a joint reception center. During armistice, it functions as the Osan AMC Passenger Terminal, but in wartime it would be the installation joint reception center for follow on forces.”

For units like this, the exercise serves not only as a way to practice defensive readiness, but to also remind them that they are part of the bigger picture, being ready to ‘Fight Tonight’.

“I think that people kind of lose sight of why they are actually here after a while, doing the day to day job, so when we get to exercise like this, it gives our Airman a sense of what we are really here for,” said Bracey. “It’s a really good thing to practice. It opens their eyes and gives them a real sense of purpose.”

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