366th Fighter Wing executes Gunslinger 18-4 readiness exercise

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  • By 366th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
  • 366th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
The 366th Fighter Wing tested its readiness capabilities during exercise Gunslinger 18-4, Feb. 5 – 9.

The exercise tested personnel and units in their ability to support a contingency response to an adversarial threat here on base or in an expeditionary capacity across the globe.

Col. Joe Kunkel, 366th Fighter Wing commander, highlighted the importance of base-wide training events like this.

“I think Airmen of all ranks receive a lot of useful knowledge out of these kinds of readiness exercises,” Kunkel said. “From proper wear of mission oriented protective posture gear that keep us alive and able to operate in a chemical environment, to command and control challenges we face every single day, this training is essential to our readiness and ability to generate combat airpower.”

The wing executed multiple scenarios that tested the techniques associated with chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosives (CBRNE) response; security forces tactics and base defense measures; and Self Air Buddy Care (SABC) and mass-casualty medical training, to name a few.

“It’s important for us to practice in case this was a real-world scenario,” said Staff Sgt. Ryan Stewart, precision measurement equipment laboratory technician, following an exercise SABC scenario. “We would need to perform the tasks flawlessly and ensure the safety and survival of the [force].”

Orchestrating the large-scale exercise required a wing inspection team composed of representatives from every base unit participating in the exercise. WIT members, led by the Wing Inspector General’s office, are their unit’s subject matter experts and were responsible for knowing what needed to be tested in their respective fields in regards to overall readiness.

Maj. Bobby Guidry, 366th Operations Support Squadron assistant director of operations, explained his role as a WIT member during a scenario that tested his squadron’s CBRNE readiness.

“As a wing inspection team member, I’m watching to make sure aircrew flight equipment troops follow their appropriate procedures, that the aircrew follow instructions and that there are no safety issues,” Guidry said.

Gunslinger 18-4 was part of the Commander’s Inspection Program, and will help shape Kunkel’s way forward regarding readiness.

“We were able to prove that we take our readiness seriously through a wide-range of exercise scenarios that tested our capabilities,” Kunkel said. “Our security forces proved their swift emergency response and lethality will ensure the safety and security of our base. Our medical professionals displayed the ability to handle an emergency on a large scale. Our operational units maintained the ability to get Strike Eagles off the ground and fighting. Across the board, I was impressed, and I’m thankful for everyone’s hard work.”