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Airmen prepare for deployment in phase 1 exercise

A 389th Fighter Squadron pilot participates in a mobility bag check for the Phase I exercise, Oct. 17, 2017, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. A Phase I exercise is designed to prepare Airmen for short-notice deployments. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class JaNae Capuno)

A 389th Fighter Squadron pilot participates in a mobility bag check for the Phase I exercise, Oct. 17, 2017, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. A Phase I exercise is designed to prepare Airmen for short-notice deployments. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class JaNae Capuno)

Airman 1st Class Cody Smith, 389th Aircraft Maintenance Unit aerospace propulsions, tightens down bolts on an aircraft, Oct. 18, 2017, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. Units all across base participated in the Phase 1 exercise that tested the wing's ability to prepare for a deployment in a moments notice. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jeremy L. Mosier)

Airman 1st Class Cody Smith, 389th Aircraft Maintenance Unit aerospace propulsions, tightens down bolts on an aircraft, Oct. 18, 2017, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. Units all across base participated in the Phase 1 exercise that tested the wing's ability to prepare for a deployment in a moments notice. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jeremy L. Mosier)

Staff Sgt. Timothy Detchon, 366th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron avionics systems craftsman, performs a check on an aircraft at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, Oct. 18, 2017. Gunfighters participated in a base-wide Phase 1 exercise to ensure readiness for deployments. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jeremy L. Mosier)

Staff Sgt. Timothy Detchon, 366th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron avionics systems craftsman, performs a check on an aircraft at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, Oct. 18, 2017. Gunfighters participated in a base-wide Phase 1 exercise to ensure readiness for deployments. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jeremy L. Mosier)

A 366th Logistics Readiness Squadron Airman checks a tag on a mobility bag for the Phase I exercise, Oct. 17, 2017, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. The 366th LRS preformed the mobility bag checks for all aircrew participating in the exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class JaNae Capuno)

A 366th Logistics Readiness Squadron Airman checks a tag on a mobility bag for the Phase I exercise, Oct. 17, 2017, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. The 366th LRS preformed the mobility bag checks for all aircrew participating in the exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class JaNae Capuno)

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- The 366th Fighter Wing tested its ability to prepare for a deployment in a moment’s notice this week with its first Phase 1 exercise in almost three years.

“We are hoping to ensure we can generate aircraft and personnel that would be required to go to an (area of military operations),” explained Maj. Jennifer Cannon, 366th FW director of inspections. “As well as to ensure that personnel know how to deploy and get their equipment ready and themselves ready, so they are medically, physically, mentally and emotionally prepared to go.”

During the Phase 1 exercise the base not only focused on getting Airmen out the door to a deployed location, but tested its force-protection capabilities and information security.

“This exercise is different in the fact that it proves that we can deploy our forces to go to an arena that the president calls us to go to,” Cannon said. “Other exercises we do are more like part-task trainers, we are making sure we can increase our (force protection condition) and making sure everybody knows the checklists to do for that.”

Exercises, like a Phase 1, keep Airmen ready for any short-notice deployments and allow units to assess and improve their procedures.

“Training is a very important part of being an Airman,” said Col. Joseph Kunkel, 366th Fighter Wing commander. “The Air Force never puts an Airman into a position they’re not ready for, because we are well trained and will continue to be well trained.”

From finance to maintenance, it took the entire base to ready members for the deployment exercise.

"Everyone pulled together and worked hard to accomplish the mission,” said Master Sgt. James Mulhall, 366th FW exercise planner. “There were lessons learned but that's what exercises are all about; to find areas for improvement and be able to execute our mission at a moment's notice."

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