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Joint Base Andrews Features

NEWS | Nov. 4, 2011

844th Communications Group hosts Warrior Day

By Airman 1st Class Bahja J. Jones 11th Wing Public Affairs

Airmen from around Joint Base Andrews came together to participate in and support the annual 844th Communications Group Warrior Day competition and exercise Oct. 21 near Freedom Park.

The competition was made up of a number of exercises that challenged the Airmen to use skills such as Self Aid Buddy Care, unidentified explosive ordnance recognition, land navigation and the use of M-16 rifles loaded with 'sim-unitions' in defensive fighting positions.

There was a multitude of scenarios and responsibilities - the 779th Medical Group Airmen provided assistance and equipment for the SABC portion; the 11th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordinance Disposal Airmen provided dummy explosives and oversaw the UXO sweep; and 11th Security Forces Squadron Airmen acted as opposing forces during a live fire exercise.

"The idea was to incorporate the warrior mindset to Airmen who haven't yet deployed," said Arnold. "Each year, exercises are added to create a more realistic downrange experience."

Warrior day was first started in 2008 by Senior Master Sgt. Lisa Arnold, 744th Communications Squadron knowledge operations flight superintendant.

"We deploy constantly, up to 30 Airmen at any given time," said Maj. David Weide, 744th CS director of operations. "It reminds our Airmen the importance of staying sharp on some of the skills they learn in Combat Skills Training or Combat Airman Skills Training and to remain always ready."

Their commander agreed that readiness is key.

"This is what we signed up to do," said Col. Anthony Thomas, 844th CG commander. "This training is not just better preparing our communications Airmen, but the medical group, EOD, and security forces Airmen we're able to train as well."

After the Airmen completed the round robin of scenarios, they were graded on their ability to disassemble and reassemble an M-16 rifle, followed by an obstacle course.

"I thought it was fun," said Airman 1st Class Lucas West, 744h Communications Squadron publications technician. "I think it allows people whose jobs don't require them to do strenuous activities on a day-to-day basis to stay on their toes and really utilize their military training."

After approximately six hours of training exercises, the group went to Freedom Park to wind down and enjoy an end-of-day barbecue.

"I think it is a great event and I hope that one day we can expand participation to other units on the base throughout the Air Force District of Washington," said Arnold. "I really believe that Warrior Day helps put into perspective why we wear the uniform."