PACAF Airmen train for contingency operations during Silver Flag
on Tuesday, 02 December 2008

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y Tech. Sgt. Rey Ramon
18th Wing Public Affairs

11/26/2008 - KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- Airmen from all over PACAF trained to establish and sustain a forward operating base during Silver Flag 09-09 here Nov. 16 - 22. 

"The Airmen are tasked with many different scenarios that require them to utilize the training they have received during the week based on their own Air Force Specialty Codes," said Chief Master Sgt. Mark Lewis, Det. 1, 554th Red Horse Squadron chief enlisted manager. "The exercise is similar to an Operational Readiness Exercise that the base conducts to ensure personnel can perform their wartime functions." 

In addition to their career field-specific training, the students are required to operate in simulated wartime conditions and to help reconstitute the base and the airfield following air attacks. 

"The goal is to integrate as many of the scenarios as possible," said Lt. Col. Kelly Harshbarger, Det. 1, 554th Red Horse Squadron commander. "The students will appreciate how all the support players contribute to completion of the overall mission."
During the exercise, civil engineers honed their skills by working with basic expeditionary airfield resources, mobile aircraft arresting systems, emergency airfield lighting systems and airfield damage repair equipment. 

Services personnel focused on three tiers of expeditionary feeding platforms: a single palletized expeditionary kitchen, a containerized deployable kitchen and a Bear 550 kitchen. They also trained to perform field mortuary functions and to provide morale, welfare and recreation services during contingency operations. Personnel specialists and contracting students also trained for the unique aspects of their fields in a contingency environment. 

"At the end of the week," said Colonel Harshbarger, "the entire team gets a chance to practice the skills they've learned during classroom instruction in a roughly 16-hour exercise." 

For many students, the most challenging aspect of Silver Flag was the long hours -- preparing breakfast in the wee hours in the morning, wearing field gear for extended periods of time and preparing expeditionary support plans while attending training. 

"Bottom line, it's challenging for these students in different ways," said the colonel.
The Red Horse squadron will conduct a total of nine Silver Flag exercises this season, training more than 700 students overall from around the Pacific.

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Last update: Tuesday, 02 December 2008

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