Exercise Double Whammy: Utah ANG conducts two large exercises in one drill weekend
By Senior Airman Lillian Harnden, 151 ARW/PA
/ Published August 08, 2011
SALT LAKE CITY -- To simulate a swift, mass deployment to protect the homeland, the Utah Air National Guard conducted Exercise Double Whammy on base August 5-7.
Exercise Double Whammy enacted two exercises simultaneously, a mobility deployment exercise and an aircraft generation exercise.
The mobility deployment mission involves rapidly processing precise requirements to deploy both personnel and cargo. The tasked personnel and involved cargo were specifically selected to fill necessary deployment needs. For the exercise, more than 160 Air Guardsmen were geared to deploy. Approximately 120 short tons of cargo were also poised for transport.
Col. Samuel Ramsay, the 151st Air Refueling Wing commander, explained the significance of this exercise.
"On any given day, the Utah ANG has approximately 100 members deployed worldwide in small groups. This exercise demonstrated our ability to deploy a large force on short notice, with all their personnel and equipment."
Colonel Kenneth Gammon, the Exercise Double Whammy commander, explained the importance of practicing.
"This is the first time in years we've done it all, primed personnel, palletized cargo and placed it all together to posture for deployment. These are perishable skills that we need to preserve. It's important for us to practice the whole deployment package, to get it lined up and ready to go, so we can see the big picture. We need to be prepared for a real-world scenario."
For the aircraft generation mission, four aircrews and KC-135 Stratotankers were generated for deployment. To counter a simulated threat during the exercise, an aircraft response drill and four-ship take off was launched August 7.
"We've been training for several months for this generation exercise," said Colonel Darwin Craig, the 151st Operations Group commander. "My confidence level in our abilities is high. We will continue to practice these exercises to maintain our readiness."
The UTANG designed Exercise Double Whammy as practice before their upcoming ORI scheduled for 2012. However, Gammon encouraged Air Guardsmen to execute the exercise as though it were real and not just an exercise to pass an inspection.
"This mission is critical," said Gammon. "It involves homeland security. As Air Guardsmen it is more near and dear to our roles in the military."
Captain Daniel Frost, the Installation Deployment Officer said the exercise went very well, especially considering the fact that we don't move this much cargo every day.
"We've augmented a lot of new people into this process in order to move efficiently," said Frost. "We have had challenges, some obstacles and lessons we've learned. There are things that we will get better at. Considering the size and extent of this exercise, it went very smoothly. We had impressive team effort, and we got the job done. This exercise was a success."
Exercise Double Whammy required participation from every wing unit. Roughly 10 percent of personnel from each unit were augmented into the Deployed Work Centers. The Logistics Readiness Squadron provided Subject Matter Experts to manage each of those work centers. During the extended three-day drill weekend, many Air Guardsmen worked rotating shifts to cover 24-hour operations.
Air Guardsmen who were selected to deploy for the exercise said they thought the deployment process went very smooth.
"The whole process went really quick," said Master Sgt. Julie Nuccitelli, the NCO in charge of Installation Personnel Readiness, who served a previous deployment. "The Baggage Deployment Function was really slick. We dropped our personal bags, were issued mobility bags, and then they shipped them all off in containers."