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606th ACS Airmen prepare for Eifel Thunder

by Senior Airman Nick Wilson
52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs

eifel thunderSPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany -- "WHAT'S YOUR ROLL?!" -- "AIR CONTROL!"

"WHO YOU WITH?!" -- "THE 606TH!"

Airmen from the 606th Air Control Squadron are preparing for Eifel Thunder, a field exercise in which Airmen take all of their equipment to a simulated deployed location where they live and work as if they are on a real deployment.

"This is getting our experience level way up as far as how to do our mission when we deploy and take our equipment with us," said Senior Master Sgt. Dennis Wilson, 606th ACS modular systems flight superintendent.

This will differ from the 606th ACS's other exercises because instead of convoying to a location where equipment is already set up, Airmen will be convoying to a location where they will be required to set up their equipment and living quarters.

"We've been tasked to pack our equipment, mobilize it and convoy out [to our location]," Sergeant Wilson said. "Everyone will take their equipment with them, and when we get there, they'll set it up."

This will be the first exercise of this kind the air control squadron has participated in since 2007.

According to Sergeant Wilson, the squadron hasn't had the ability or the time for an exercise of this scale due to deployments and their operations tempo.

With three convoys and 61 vehicles, approximately 198 personnel will be simulating a "deployment" scheduled for May 9-16.

"We're taking everyone who's fit to deploy, and we're taking more than we're tasked to take because we want to get as many people as we can out to the field to get them the experience they need," Sergeant Wilson said.

One of the main things Airmen will need prior to the exercise is the necessary training to deploy.

"We're trying to ensure they're all trained up and know all of their wartime tasks just like we would if we were about to deploy," Sergeant Wilson said. "We need to make sure we've got everything that we need to do our job in the field."


Published May 7, 2011

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