ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam --
Pushing the boundaries of rapid deployment calls for some early mornings and late nights. Thankfully, the rainbow-colored sunrises and sunsets in Guam made the week-long Resilient Typhoon exercise a little more bearable for 35th Fighter Wing personnel, April 21-26.
Resilient Typhoon allowed seven Pacific Air Forces wings to forward deploy, testing Airmen on their ability to move and operate at a new location with little to no notice in the event of potentially catastrophic weather.
“This was a short-notice exercise for our base,” said Capt. Steven Kotecki, the 35th FW chief of wing plans. “Our team had to respond quickly to deploy all the way down to Guam, disperse and be able to still operate with a really small team.”
The exercise challenged Misawa Air Base’s ability to execute dispersing, recovering and rapidly resuming flying operations. 35th Fighter Wing Airmen started at home station, landed at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, and spread out to A.B Won Pat International Airport in order to maintain readiness.
“This exercise forced our Airmen to operate in new and innovative ways due to the small number of personnel and equipment,” said Master Sgt. Michael Lydko, the 35th FW production superintendent for Resilient Typhoon. “There were times we ran into challenges pushing us out of our comfort zone, but it was the people not the processes who persevered.”
Misawa AB’s forward deployed team consisted of 41 personnel, spread across roughly 20 Air Force specialty codes, oftentimes having Airmen dual-hat multiple roles to allow the jets to fly a total of 18 hours in an austere environment.
“From my perspective, this exercise validates the idea that delegating authority down to the tactical level is important,” said Kotecki. “In this instance, that authority allowed these guys to be adaptive and overcome some big hurdles.”
Although Airmen faced many difficulties operating with fewer materials and manpower, one variable was constant—the hard work put forward by every member of Team Misawa during Resilient Typhoon.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the level of professionalism and hard-work each team member brought to the table. Their dedication to the mission and team, and motivation to succeed enabled us to excel in an austere and untested environment,” said Capt. Bryant Tomlin, the 35th FW forward deployed commander during Resilient Typhoon. “They were able to generate innovative solutions allowing us to overcome obstacles thrown our way while still getting the mission done. From launching jets, to establishing bare-base infrastructure, power and communications, to being professional ambassadors during a static display, the team absolutely crushed it.”