Ramstein Airmen prepare for training in England

Capt. Erin Dorrance
Kaiserslautern American

Airmen ruffling through mobility folders, k-loaders moving pallets and
maintainers turning wrenches on C-130s was the scene as the 86th
Airlift Wing and 435th Air Base Wing completed phase I of an
operational readiness exercise in preparation for the 37th Airlift
Squadron’s off-station trainer in England.

After about 350 Airmen processed through the deployment line in
Exercise Normandy Glider, 160 of them continued on Ramstein C-130s to a
15-day trainer on Royal Air Force base in Lyneham.

“The phase I deployment exercise was incredibly successful. The 86th
AW, 435th ABW and 723rd Air Mobility Squadron all came together
brilliantly,” said Col. Rich Johnston, KMC and 86th AW commander.  “We
must be continually ready to deploy and if we don’t stress our
deployment processes during an exercise, we don’t know what needs to be
improved upon. Bottom line, we have had a large turnover in personnel
since the last major exercise and we needed to fine-tune some processes
to make them even better and this exercise was just what we needed.”

Not only do exercises help with fine-tuning, they are annual
requirements that every U.S. Air Force wing must successfully complete.
Ramstein has not conducted an ORE since February 2005, said Lt. Col. Kurt Raffetto, 86th AW Inspections and Readiness chief.

Once the cargo was loaded and the last C-130 took off, the phase I ORE
was complete and the 37th AS off-station trainer, called Blue Fog,
C-130 flight crews, maintainers and firefighters were included in the
training package, he said.  Blue Fog will give aircrew members the
opportunity to conduct low-level, air drop, assault landings and take
offs with night vision goggles. It will also provide crewmembers with
formation lead training.
“Ramstein was happy RAF Lyneham accepted our request to conduct our
trainer on their base,” said Colonel Raffetto. “The area is very
conducive to military low-level flights and we have the opportunity to
conduct interflies with England’s C-130s.”