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Staff Sgt. Micheal Gadlin (left), 374th Airlift Wing, delivers the thumbs-up hand signal to indicate no contamination is present on a simulated M8 chemical agent detection paper at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Sept. 15, 2011 during a wing readiness exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo/Osakabe Yasuo)
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Yokota demonstrates wartime readiness during exercise

Posted 9/15/2011   Updated 9/15/2011 Email story   Print story


by 374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

9/15/2011 - YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- The 374th Airlift Wing demonstrated its readiness and war fighting capabilities here, Sept. 12-15 during a wing readiness exercise.

During this time, Airmen put their knowledge, resourcefulness, skill and teamwork to the test, accomplishing Yokota's mission while practicing simulated wartime scenarios.

Tech. Sgt. Heath Bayhi, Wing Installation exercise evaluation team member, has the opportunity to evaluate how well Yokota Airmen can accomplish the mission when met with a wide variety of challenges.

"Exercises like this provide a good learning experience for everybody," said Sergeant Bayhi. "While still having room to make mistakes, Airmen are able to work together through scenarios that could have devastating consequences if they were real world."

Armed with an Airman's Manual and their wingman, players are expected to treat each event as if it were a real world situation. Accuracy and a sense of urgency are key goals.

"We practice these scenarios like they are really happening," said Staff Sgt. Mario Marquez, a post attack reconnaissance team member. "If this were a real world, there would be no time to play around."

As a Yokota exercise veteran, Sergeant Marquez knows the importance of being prepared.

"Anything can happen within a moment's notice, and when it does, you have to be ready to assess the situation and use the skills we have learned and practiced often," said Sgt. Marquez.

From an evaluator's perspective, Sergeant Bayhi feels extremely confident in not only the abilities of the Airmen but the overall performance of the Wing.

"I feel proud when I see the Airman tackling the scenarios with a good attitude and treating them as real world. They get more out of it when they have that mindset," he said. "Because of these exercises I am confident that our people will be ready in the event of a real-world situation."

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