Interagency exercise paves way for progressive training

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jacob M. Thompson
  • 341st Missile Wing Public Affairs

Military innovation, adaptability and technical and tactical advantages are vital to maintain the nation’s defense posture.

By evaluating operations, units see what changes can be made to enhance training, policies and procedures.

Members of the 841st Missile Security Forces Squadron, 40th Helicopter Squadron, 341st Security Support Squadron tactical response force, 341st Medical Group and 341st Missile Wing safety, with support from the 12th Missile Squadron, participated in an integrated exercise, displaying the weapons and tactics used during a recapture and recovery of an intercontinental ballistic missile launch facility.

“This was a wing level, interoperability training exercise,” said 2nd Lt. Paul Wiza, 841st MSFS flight leader and on-scene commander during the exercise. “We had an integration of different response forces and backup forces to test our capabilities when it comes to recapture and recovery operations.”

The training simulated a hostile’s attempt to capture a nuclear asset. Security forces Airmen, who arrived by both Humvee and helicopter, began to combat the threat and worked their way toward retaking control of the launch facility. After neutralizing the threat, recapturing the LF and securing the facility, the Airmen performed self-aide buddy care and Tactical Combat Casualty Care.

The 341st MDG team then treated the moulage victims by triaging and treating any unaddressed or life threatening injuries. They also simulated stabilizing patients and transporting them onto helicopters for medical evacuation.

“Medical’s role in the exercise is to provide guidance and identify what medical practices may have been done wrong, what can be improved upon and what our strengths are,” said Tech. Sgt. Stenneth Smith, 341st Medical Operations Squadron clinical medicine flight chief. “We’re trying to learn what our capabilities are with the other units and becoming a cohesive team.”

While training occurs every day at Malmstrom, this specific exercise was distinctive due to the interoperability between the various units.

“This training was unique because most of the year we do training like this within our squadron,” said Wiza. “We don’t usually get to work with other units, such as the 40th HS or 341st MDG. This is the 841st’s first wing-level, interoperability exercise with other squadrons for this type of training.”

In a combined effort to innovate and improve the interoperability between various units on base, members from each squadron spent months planning this exercise. Seeing it finally come to fruition lived up to the long wait, said Wiza.

“This is a stepping stone of how we want to do exercises,” said Wiza. “We innovated our tactical and strategic operations and tried new things. I’m happy we made this work and am excited to see everyone coming together to get the job done.”

By innovating their training, Malmstrom Airmen are increasing the lethality with which they do business.

“We are a service whose roots and history are very deep in innovation, and I want to make sure that we're not losing that," said former Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson. "Early stage research and development has been flat or declining, and I think we need to refresh and revitalize the innovative spirit of the Air Force."