355th Mission Support Group holds Phase II training

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class William Finn V
  • 355 Wing

DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. – U.S. Air Force Airmen participated in a week-long training exercise at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., May 13 to 16, 2024.
Airmen assigned to the 355th Mission Support Group practiced combat support operations in a contested and degraded environment. The four-day training exercise, Phase II, was designed to ensure Airmen are mission-ready and able to successfully perform their job duties under a variety of conditions. 

“Our overarching goal is to prepare our team, both mentally and physically, to adapt to the changing operational environment,” said Maj. Christopher Fukui, 355th Logistics Readiness Squadron director of operations. “We wanted this exercise to be a wake-up call to our members on the realities of future conflicts and to present them with scenarios that are unique to a conflict with a peer adversary.”
The Air Force recently made it a priority to focus its training on Great Power Competition with a peer adversary and the development of training for Airmen reflects this priority. 
Planning for the exercise began months before the training. Planners looked back to lessons learned from previous training to construct Phase II to better prepare Airmen.
“Thirty-seven planners took four months to construct this exercise,” said 1st Lt. Zohn Manet Cepeda, lead exercise planner. “It takes feedback from planners and players to improve on our shortfalls for better training the next time around and embracing opportunities to improve is vital for the development of our Airmen.”
The planners interjected scenarios that required participants to perform tasks that enhanced their knowledge and techniques in areas outside of their day-to-day duties.
355th Civil Engineering Airmen participated in a rapid airfield damage repair exercise after a simulated missile attack. This included training in sourcing materials from the local economy to be able to make the repairs. 
The 355th Force Support Squadron conducted a mortuary affairs training element where they were required to retrieve and properly process a simulated casualty. During the exercise they located a simulated improvised explosive device on the body, prompting them to call Explosive Ordnance Disposal experts to remove it safely before finishing their section of the training.
“Being able to hunker down during a missile attack and then get back to turning wrenches or working in an expeditionary setting trains Airmen to execute combat support functions for Great Power Competition reoptimization,’ said Cepeda. “Our Airmen, whether stateside or overseas, must be able to do their jobs in degraded environments and this training provides us the opportunity to do so.” 
To achieve a more competitive posture, the Department of the Air Force plans to implement major changes centered on how it develops its people, generates readiness, projects power and develops integrated capabilities. Training events like the MSG Phase II are a step toward this increased readiness and integrated capabilities.