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IMAs integral to materiel command's exercise response.

Air Force Materiel Command took a Total Force approach to its participation in the Department of Homeland Defense's national exercise May 1-8.

The command, headquartered at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, used a mix of regular Air Force, civilian and Air Force Reserve people to provide expert responses to the various exercise scenarios, which included terrorist attacks and a major hurricane striking the East Coast.

Integral to HQ AFMC's response were 12 individual mobilization augmentees and two Reserve senior leaders. Col. Brian Dominguez, mobilization assistant to the director of air, space and information operations, chaired HQ AFMC battle staff briefings representing the commander, Gen. Bruce Carlson.

"It was an exciting experience to represent General Carlson during the exercise battle staff briefings," Colonel Dominguez said. "It was also great to witness the tremendous work being done by so many IMAs helping AFMC support its crisis and contingency operations."

Col. Joel Morin, Air Force Reserve advisor to the commander, led AFMC's crisis response as one of six crisis action team directors. He directed the relocation of the HQ AFMC crisis action team to its alternate site in response to an exercise input. His team then re-established connectivity with all of the command's installations to continue directing exercise responses.

"This amazing group of professionals was able to evacuate the primary facility, move to our alternate location and get the HQ AFMC CAT fully operational again in about 30 minutes," Colonel Morin said. "Our entire CAT staff did a great job. Great teamwork by the entire team with outstanding support from the 88th Air Base Wing made it happen."

The exercise also provided an opportunity for AFMC to enhance its reputation as the Air Force leader in technological advances. The command tested new capabilities to improve command and control processes, conducting its first-ever AFMC-wide battle staff video teleconference.

"General Carlson expressed his confidence that AFMC has developed dependable and effective processes to efficiently handle crisis and contingency responses," said Col. Steve Wilkerson, senior IMA of the Operational Plans Division and CAT director. "Bringing the command together as an integrated response team, interacting in real-time with the commander, was a significant first for AFMC. It is definitely an extremely effective capability that we successfully demonstrated."

The command also trial tested a Web-based situational reporting tool. Prior to this development, generating the SITREP was a labor-intensive effort that involved "cutting and pasting" the various SITREPs from field installations into the command's SITREP, which was then forwarded up the chain to Air Force level.

This new SITREP tool prototype allows installations to submit their required reports and have them consolidated automatically into a command summary.

Lt. Col. Greg Green, an IMA, served as overall exercise director. He led the training and oversight of the CAT leadership teams.

"Our IMAs are fully engaged in all areas of CAT operations, and that helps take a tremendous burden off the active duty and DOD civilian staffs," Colonel Green said.

"We are a cost-effective force multiplier, offering great bang for the buck. Our IMAs provide a level of continuity and experience that is invaluable in helping our command meet its crisis and contingency responses." (Staff reports)
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Title Annotation:Round the Reserve
Publication:Citizen Airman
Date:Aug 1, 2008
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