UCC vital to ORE success

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- This is part two of a four-part series on missions during an Operational Readiness Exercise here.

In preparation for an upcoming Operational Readiness Inspection, MHAFB is conducting an ORE Sep. 11 through 15.

During the exercise, Airmen are frequently asked to fulfill unique mission requirements outside of their regular duties. A handful of Airmen from the 366th Fighter Wing, manning the Unit Control Center, are a prime example.

"We enable wing leadership to see the 'big picture' so they can make accurate command decisions," explained Senior Airman Ryan Willis, 366th Fighter Wing knowledge operations manager.

The UCC functions as the key to unlocking all vital information during the exercise.
"We are really the liaisons between the commanders and the units," said Staff Sgt. Carla Owens, 366th Fighter Wing staff knowledge operations manager. "This job is important because we have to ensure the information gets up to the commanders as well as back down to the units to make sure they know what's going on with the exercise."

In order to make well-informed decisions, commanders in the ORE rely on timely and accurate information to pass to their subordinates.

"The commanders will need all vital information to make the key decisions on what to do next," said Willis. "If they don't get that information, things can fall apart real quick."

The significance of being involved in situations like this is evident to some participants.
"Contributing in an exercise like this is important because if and when we deploy, we will be ready for real-world situations," stated Owens.

Willis agrees the exercise provides an invaluable learning opportunity for all involved.
"This helps us expect the unexpected," said Willis. "Now we will be able to perform all the abilities we are currently learning."

Not only is this an important learning experience, it also invigorates some individual's patriotism.

"This exercise makes me proud to be an American and helps me remember what we are all fighting for," declared Willis.