Oklahoma Airmen Hope Gulfport Training Impresses Air Force - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

04/01/04

Oklahoma Airmen Hope Gulfport Training Impresses Air Force

They've been trained for war and soon they'll prove to the Air Force that, if needed, they're ready to go. Hundreds of Oklahoma airmen are at the Air National Guard Base in Gulfport training to get ready for a major inspection this summer.

An air attack sent airmen into their bunkers to take cover. Over the past few days they've also had to react to scenarios like terrorist attacks, snipers, and chemical warfare with evaluators scrutinizing every move.

"We look at everything from the fire department, security forces and how well they provide force protection," Major Kimberly Maloy said.

"We test the battle staff which is the command staff to see how they react to different inputs. Whether they overact or if they interact correctly."

The exercises are a preview of what the airmen will face come June when the Air Force tests their combat readiness skills.

"In the event that something happened, we would be ready to go. We have to prove to the Air Force that we're ready to go."

The Tulsa based wing has made Gulfport its training ground for the last 20 years or more. A move they believe puts them at an advantage.

"We are so fortunate that we're able to come here and do this exercise, and have the evaluators that we have, and have the quality of training that we're able to receive here at these facilities. As they've been able to improve on these facilities, it just makes it better and better every time we come down here to train."

Major Maloy says the wing should find out this weekend how well it performed.

by Danielle Thomas

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