51 FW tests 'Fight Tonight' capabilities during exercise, links to UFG 2015

by Tech. Sgt. Travis Edwards
51st Fighter Wing PAO

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Airmen from the 51st Fighter Wing received some additional exercise inputs during the Beverly Midnight 15-03 readiness exercise here Aug. 17 through 20.

 "Our ability to perform well as a wing relies on our collective ability to expertly execute tactical operations in the face of imminent threats," said Col. Andrew Hansen, 51 FW commander. "We have to be ready for all possible dangers sent our way. I've said it before; the intent of these exercises is to get better every time we do this by capitalizing on victories and learning from failures."

 What normally consisted of two separate exercises in the past, BM 15-03 and Ulchi Freedom Guardian 2015, a multi-national exercise that brings service members from more than seven different countries to operationally work together, was independently combined to allow the wing to accept inputs based on actual UFG 15 scenarios.

 "We're getting better at integrating as a wing into what the operational and strategic side of the house needs during these kinds of contingency operation exercises," said Lt. Col. Rich Waldrop, 51 FW Inspector General. "Past performance has shown that wing integration into the operational spectrum yields good results--we want to keep doing that and eventually have our responses affect what they do next."

 During the exercise, the wing tested several key areas. Some of the capabilities tested were processing Airmen through chemically protected shelters, defending against simulated ground and aerial attacks, to include chemical and missile attacks, and rapid runway-repair operations.

 "You're only as good as your weakest link," said Hansen.  "We have to be ready for every scenario and ensure the processes that are in place work for us. That's what these exercises are all about; the 'Fight Tonight' mantra doesn't work if we don't fully test our capabilities."

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