McChord takes part in Patriot Hook

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Desiree Kiliz
  • 446th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Responding to a terrorist event exercise scenario, more than 300 Air Force Reserve, Navy and Army personnel deployed to San Clemente Island, Calif., for Patriot Hook 2007, July 12-16. 

Patriot Hook is an Air Force Reserve Command-run exercise designed to provide realistic training to its airlift control flights on setting up an airfield for incoming mission support. 

Forty McChord Reservists from the 446th Airlift Wing, participated in the exercise, including 16 people from the 446th Airlift Control Flight, 

"This exercise provides a great opportunity to work with our sister (airlift control flights), other units from McChord and customers," said Maj. Ray Luevanos, 446th ALCF operations officer. "It also provides the chance for all the new Reservists in our unit to get experience with our equipment in the field." 

The scenario set a mock terrorist event and required ALCF units to open and run a forwarding base on San Clemente and two continental U.S. bases at March ARB and North Island, Calif. 

With aerial port Airmen, and Navy and Army units, the exercise also provides training on uploading and downloading different strategic airlift assets, such as the C-17 and KC-135 aircraft. Additionally, the exercise tested coordination of security, and disaster and medical response operations among Navy, Army, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and airlift control flights. 

Along with the 446th ALCF, 16 Reservists from the 36th Aerial Port Squadron, six Reservists from 446th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron and one Reservist from the 446th Operations Group came to support ALCF and their mission at Patriot Hook. 

"It was an opportunity for us to work jointly with other services in a deployed setting much like our real world operations," said Capt. Ernest Wong, 86th APS. 

Maintenance helped ensure mission success for the Patriot Hook exercise by conducting preflight and post-flight inspections, and running refueling operations for all aircraft that landed without delay, said Master Sgt. Buddy Lechadores, 446th AMXS. 

An incentive in the Patriot Hook exercise is the opportunity for Reservists to work with Sailors, Soldiers and Federal Emergency Management Agency and their equipment, which the Air Force does not have or typically use. 

The other branches were good at their jobs and definitely knew how to get their equipment on the plane, which saved us time during our engine running on-loads and ultimately made our mission run smoother, said Tech. Sgt. Peter Falcetti, 86th APS and airfreight load team chief for Patriot Hook. 

During the exercise, the Reservists worked with units and equipment from several branches including: Army 9th Civil Engineers; Navy Environmental Preventive Medicine Unit Five; Navy Deep Submergence Unit; Navy Amphibious Construction Battalion One.
Military personnel from the Army and Navy also had the opportunity to learn more about what they need to prepare prior to flying on an Air Force aircraft and the process they will have to go through for future deployment. 

"Our unit has never participated in an exercise like this, at least since I have been with it, so it's definitely a learning experience for us to know what we need to do when we deploy," said Petty Officer 1st Class Sara Ferguson, NEPMU 5. The exercise is important for the NEPMU 5 that scheduled for deployment Oct. 2007. 

Although training was the focus at the 2007 Patriot Hook exercise, the 446th ALCF used the experience as a re-evaluation of their operation readiness inspection. With cooperation among the ALCF Airmen, the flight passed and received important feedback for their next exercise. 

"The exercise was a training success for command, control and communications with the three ALCFs, mobility and aircraft proficiency for the Air Force personnel, and individuals from our sister services and other specialized government agencies," said Senior Master Sgt. Carl Graap, 446th ALCF Superintendent.