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Joint Base Andrews News

NEWS | April 18, 2019

What is readiness? The DORE was one example

By Col. Andrew M. Purath, 11th Wing Commander 11th Wing

Roughly a week later, 11th Wing Inspector General staff and leaders across the installation are evaluating the overall success of the deployment operational readiness exercise we conducted here April 11, 2019.

First, I'd like to say thank you to everyone who planned it, and especially to those who participated in it. It was a long day for all.

Approximately 500 of America’s Airmen participated in the exercise and countless more worked to prepare them for the line in the weeks leading up to the day of execution. We created a scenario that challenged the 11th Wing and our mission partners to plan and execute a short-notice deployment of several hundred service members from JBA, simulating the need for a rapid influx of personnel to join expeditionary units overseas.

Simply put, it was one of the most successful failures I’ve ever been a part of. There were a few time-hacks we aimed for and didn't hit. But in the context of an exercise, I think we accomplished exactly what we wanted. We stressed and tested ourselves -- and we tested ourselves in a historical way for Joint Base Andrews.

Not since 2005 have we exercised deploying such a large number of our Airmen. The DORE was at times inconvenient and painful. It disrupted routines and forced some to work extra duty in the evening and weekends. As difficult as it was, it absolutely put us in a position to understand our strengths and weaknesses and improve our readiness.

But what is readiness? Is there a working definition? The DORE was one way I tried to answer it. We have four pillars to our readiness training; the first is that the 11th Wing should be ridiculously great at getting ourselves and our mission partners out of town if needed.

You may not realize it, and I never would've guessed it before becoming JBA commander, but the processes (and the scale) we exercised were not from a hypothetical scenario but from a requirement we know exists. Yes, there are potential scenarios that would put us on the hook for a rapid, large-scale deployment.

I've heard it before: JBA has a garrison mission. We're not expeditionary. And that's very true -- until the day isn't.

For many, the DORE wasn't a pleasant experience, but I can tell you with confidence that it was a necessary experience, and I'm glad we got it done.  The Airmen of the 11th Wing are here to "Respond, Honor, Defend, Support and Care," and we do it with the most talented Airmen I’ve ever had the privilege to lead.

To all of you who helped make it a success, you have my sincere thanks.