Total Force Collaboration to build better airmen

  • Published
  • By Tech Sgt. Tricia Topasna
  • 624th RSG

Over 300 Reserve Citizen Airmen along with their Guard and active-duty counterparts participated in the inaugural Pacific Warriorz 2021 (PWZ-21) Joint and Total Force training at Schofield Barracks, Oahu, Hawaii from June 5-13, 2021.  

The 624th Regional Support Group conducted both a Local Readiness Exercise , which tested the Group’s ability to deploy and employ their Airmen, as well as PWZ-21, which conducted vital readiness training in areas of Tactical Combat Casualty Care, Land Navigation, Troop Leading Procedures, Convoy Operations, Radio Usage/Etiquette, Base Defense, and Casualty Evacuation Loading Procedures, among others. Training was led by Soldiers and Airmen from the Army’s Medical Simulation Training Center, 624th Aeromedical Staging Squadron (ASTS), 624th Civil Engineer Squadron (CES), 647th CES, 154th CES, 48th Aerial port Squadron, 18th Security Forces Squadron/Detachment 2, 184th CES, and the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade. 624th RSG training was conducted over a “Super Drill” period of 4 days.

“We all came together to create this opportunity to get in front and teach our skills.  Going forward, we want our teams to know that they can rely on their fellow airmen from across the 624 RSG.  Regardless of their AFSC, when our airmen meet on a contingency operation, they should be able to say I trained alongside you during PWZ-21 I know your strengths and can count on you,” said Capt. Penaranda, 624th CES Readiness Flight Commander. “Ultimately, we want to create a team of resilient, multi-capable airmen who can operate independently to generate missions and project power.”

The PWZ exercise tested the Group’s ability to train and implement the war-fighting concepts of Agile Combat Employment (ACE) and Multi-Capable Airmen (MCA) while working in an austere environment. Unlike the AEF concept, ACE challenges airmen in smaller groups to establish base operations under extreme conditions quickly and efficiently. From putting "boots on ground" to evacuating on short notice, the training provided each airman on skills, and abilities that crossed standard job jar “lanes” which increases the odds of survivability and adaptability in contingency operations.   

“PWZ-21 presented many challenges and unforeseen variables. In typical Air Force fashion, the Airmen were quick to adapt and generate solutions which ultimately led to a very successful event. These types of training events are tremendous in preparing our airmen and building those relationships across our Total Force. I am looking forward to PWZ-22!” said Master Sgt. Darren Clemen, 624th CES.

Joint and Total Force Planning for PWZ-21 began with collaboration between Capt. John Penaranda, 624th CES and Capt. Louise Albertine Sarabosing, 624th ASTS and occurred over a six month period. Their efforts culminated in the successful movement of $4.8M of training equipment and the execution of approximately 2,700 man-hours of training and evaluation. Through their extensive network of Total Force teams, Sarabosing and Penaranda successfully moved over 200,000 pounds of cargo originating from Grissom Air Reserve Base, Indiana to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. Afterwards, the cargo was moved to Schofield Barracks for expeditionary download, inspection, and setup by 154th CES and 624th CES airmen. The equipment was then uploaded, returned to JBPHH, and prepped for forwarding to other AFRC exercises.

“Beyond preparing our Airmen, our hope is that this training inspires them to leverage all their connections and resources on the island.  Our Citizen Airmen have much more power than they realize,” said Capt. Sarabosing, 624th ASTS Medical Readiness Flight Commander.

The island's vital strategic location in the Pacific can pose a logistical challenge for acquiring critical resources, adequate manning, and essential hands-on training.

PWZ-21 focused on investing in Joint and Total Force interoperability by developing strong working relationships and camaraderie among all participating units.

With increasing tensions in the USINDOPACOM Theater, Hawaii’s forces stand poised and ready to posture against any advancing aggression within the region.