by Monica Mendoza
21st Space Wing Public Affairs staff writer
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — In a mass deployment to “Tereen, Afghanistan” more than 100 Airmen suited up and went through a whirlwind operation that included bandaging up wounded, assembling M-16 rifles under pressure and protecting equipment in the event of a chemical warfare fight.
The deployment operation for Condor Crest exercise on Peterson Air Force Base activated Nov. 2 with Airmen arriving at their “base camp” at 7 a.m. They were briefed on their mission and immediately ran through mission capabilities.
“The focus is on Airmen warrior skills,” said Bill Edwards, 21st Space Wing exercise evaluation team chief. “Our objective is to prepare the folks for when they have to deploy into a chemical environment.”
Condor Crest is the 21st Space Wing’s quarterly exercise when Airmen are tested on different aspects of emergency management activities, deployment operations and compliance. The wing is preparing for its Operational Readiness Inspection and Unit Compliance Inspections by the Air Force Space Command Inspector General. ORIs are conducted to evaluate the ability of the unit to perform its wartime or contingency missions. UCIs assess areas mandated by law as well as mission areas identified by senior leadership as critical or important to assess the health and performance of the organization.
“We’re pretty confident the wing is ready to take on ORI,” Mr. Edwards said. “With the exercising we’ve been doing, we feel comfortable that we can perform our wartime mission.”
In this Condor Crest exercise, Airmen were tested on a battery of wartime skills, including self aid buddy care, which provides basic life support and limb-saving techniques to help wounded or injured personnel. Self aid buddy care training is an essential part of every Airman’s basic training throughout their military careers and is vital knowledge to have when deployed. When issued an individual first aid kit with bandages and tourniquets for deployed locations, Airmen are expected to be able to utilize these basic supplies as part of their SABC skills.
“People are starting to feel that this is a priority not just for ORI and Condor Crest, but for real world,” said Master Sgt. Daniel Cockrell, 21st Medical Support Squadron and exercise evaluator. “If you are in a convoy and your vehicle gets hit with an IED and you are the one crawling out, it’s going to be you to save your buddy’s life, to stabilize him, to get the air way open or stop the bleeding until the medics show up.”
In addition to the deployment operation, the 21st Space Wing Inspector General Lt. Col. Matthew Carroll and his “Blue Team” of 40 Airmen visited six units to ensure compliance with Department of Defense, Air Force, Air Force Space Command and 21 SW instructions. Blue Team was activated this summer by Col. Stephen N. Whiting, 21st Space Wing commander, as a way to ensure top compliance and prepare for the upcoming ORI.
The Blue Team gives unfiltered feedback to commanders regarding the levels of compliance with major programs, Colonel Carroll said. Any negative findings by the Blue Team will be tracked until the issues are corrected.
“We are trying to get them inspection ready for the ORI,” he said.