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Joint Base Andrews Features

NEWS | March 23, 2011

11th Wing teams up with 167th Airlift Wing for disbursement exercise

By By Senior Airman Torey Griffith 11th Wing Public Affairs

In a shining example of total force integration, a barrage of units came together March 16 to accomplish an important exercise that demonstrated the flexibility, versatility and superiority of the Air Force.

Members of the 11th Wing, to include the 1st Helicopter Squadron, the 811th Operations Support Squadron, the 811 Logistics Readiness Squadron and the 811th Security Forces Squadron worked with the Air Force District of Washington's communications group and the West Virginia Air National Guard' s 167th Airlift Wing to set up an alternate operations center for the disbursement exercise.

"The purpose of the exercise was to validate that the 11th Wing could accomplish a disbursement in accordance with a wing operations plan," said Col. Brad Grambo, 811th Operations Group commander. "If we are directed for a natural disaster, hurricane, or any other reason, they want us out of this area to save our assets."

The men and women of the 1 HS have an important mission to accomplish, whether the operating conditions are normal or adverse. They are responsible for emergency evacuation of senior leaders from the National Capital Region, airlift support in the National Capital Region, and distinguished-visitor airlift in response to the tasking of the Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force, said Colonel Grambo.

The goal of the disbursement exercise was to move all of the people, equipment, maintenance, communication and support elements to a safe location with minimal disruption in operations, said Colonel Grambo.

"Some of the obvious benefits are that you get multiple squadrons and multiple groups to work together," Colonel Grambo said. "I think we have made some good relationships with the 167th Airlift Wing, which is important for long-range communications with them."

The 167 AW provided space and equipment for the exercise.

The 1 HS also took the opportunity to tackle some chemical-warfare training. In the event of a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear attack on the National Capital Region, the squadron would disburse and decontaminate the aircraft, passengers and crew.

Members of the 811 OSS Aircrew Flight Equipment shop suited up in Mission Oriented Protective Postures gear, or chemical suits, and practiced the decontamination procedures. This practice ensured confidence in the processes should it become necessary to perform the actions in a real-world scenario.

"It worked surprisingly smooth," said Airman 1st Class Kenneth Dyer, 811 OSS Aircrew Flight Equipment technician. "We were working in full MOP gear, and there were some curve balls thrown at us that we had to overcome. All in all, it was a good experience."

The Airmen said they came away with a sense of confidence in their ability to work together and accomplish the mission at hand.

"If it comes up real world, we'll be ready," Airman Dyer said.