After nearly 18 months of preparation and a sustained deployment tempo, Desert Lightning Team units face off in their 2012 Air Combat Command Operational Readiness Inspection.
The ACC Inspector General team will assess D-M’s ability to generate aircraft, cargo and personnel for deployment through a Phase I ORI here March 11 to 16.
“It’s go time,” said Col. John Cherrey, 355th Fighter Wing commander. “We’ve been sharpening ourselves through focused training for 18 months. Now, across the entire DLT, let’s show the inspectors our professionalism and how we do operational readiness. Each and every Airman is important to this inspection. Let’s execute like we always do and show them what we’ve got!”
The 355th Fighter Wing conducted its first of eight operational readiness exercises in preparation for this ORI in September 2010. These OREs are used as barometers that guide a review and refinement of readiness processes and procedures aimed at effectively deploying Airmen and equipment on a large scale. These processes and procedures will be inspected in the coming days during the Phase I ORI.
“A Phase I tests the wing’s ability to pack up and get out of town to our deployed location,” said Maj. Phillip Winterton, 355th FW deputy chief of plans and programs.
Winterton said the wing has made significant improvements in each ORE and DLT members have more than stepped up their game.
“The areas where we’ve seen the most improvement include our ability to generate aircraft and the improvements we’ve made to processing personnel through the line,” Winterton said.
The inspection will be a team effort as selected tenant units, including the 55th Electronic Combat Group and 563rd Rescue Group, will also play an important role.
“They will be graded separately, but some of their processes do overlap with ours,” Winterton said. “We’ve done a great job of factoring them into what we’re doing for the inspection and working together as one team.”
Tenant units have participated in each operational readiness exercise and are standing ready to put in the teamwork that will be necessary to come through this inspection with flying colors.
“Every unit in the DLT has expertise in its field,” said Col. Jason Hanover, 563rd Rescue Group commander. “Real success comes with the synergy created by teamwork. Day to day coordination, interaction and interoperations ultimately lead to successful deployments, bombs on targets and lives saved.”
Cherrey leads the charge as the DLT enters into this challenging inspection.
“Our DLT has been working diligently to prepare for the inspection that’s now upon us,” Cherrey said. “As we press forward with the ORI, I want to remind our Airmen to remember safety and their ‘ABC’s': attitude, basics, and communication. Let’s face this inspection head-on, at full speed ahead, and leaving nothing on the field. It’s go time!”