Operation Eagle Eye II
By Senior Master Sgt. Chris Drudge, 144th Fighter Wing
/ Published January 31, 2016
FRESNO AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Calif. -- March's operational exercise was a first on many levels. It was the first inspection under the new inspection program paradigm, first time to surge with the F-15s and the first exercise operating out of the new command post and emergency operations center.
Even with all these firsts, the wing, as a whole, did an outstanding job. There an outstanding job. There were a lot fewer in-house injects and more functional team work across the board which met part of the wing commander's vision of increasing teamwork throughout the wing.
Another part of the wing commander's vision and objective of the exercise was to show that the wing is on the right path to be fully operational capable by 2016.
The overall attitude of the Airmen participating in the exercise was positive, mainly due to the new inspection program that inspects on actual wartime tasks rather than exercise fluff. This allowed Airmen to do what they are trained to do in a more realistic environment.
"Maintenance did an outstanding job producing the 24 jets asked of them," said Lt. Col. Dan Kelly, 144th Fighter Wing IG. "The edge of maintenance's "The edge of maintenance's capability could not be found when 24 F-15s were prepared and launched in the confines of a single day."
The biggest advantage with the new inspection process is that it takes a lot of the unnecessary aspects of the exercise out and allows the Airmen to operate in a more realistic way. "This operational exercise gave everyone the opportunity to test their wartime tasks in a method that is more in-line with their expectations that they would see in a combat theater rather than in the previous inspection process," said Col. Clay Garrison, 144th Fighter Wing commander.
Garrison emphasized that the wing owns this process and the most important aspect of the new system is to be honest with ourselves. The wing must do the work that the combatant commanders expect of it, and in doing so we give the wing a honest assessment on how it performs. There is no harm in identifying a weakness or an area for improvement, but there is harm when Airmen try and fool themselves into thinking that they're better than they really are.
"We are our best critics and must always be open to new ideas," said Garrison.
"Ensuring that we are always doing our very best will continue to prepare the will continue to prepare the wing for any future endeavors."