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NEWS | April 7, 2024

Exercise Pacific Warriorz: Hawaii Civil Engineer Airmen Develop Multi-Capable Skills

By Senior Airman Robert Cabuco 154th Wing, Hawaii Air National Guard

Airmen from the 154th Civil Engineer Squadron performed Rapid Airfield Damage Recovery training at Bellows Air Force Station on April 7, during exercise Pacific Warriorz 2024.

The primary objective of the exercise was to conduct movement, beddown and base recovery efforts after a simulated airfield attack in order to improve readiness and strengthen partnerships within the unit and additional participants from the U.S. Air Force’s active and reserve components.

This year, the exercise evolved to incorporate and enhance the Multi-Capable Airmen concept, enabling participants to develop skills beyond their usual professional scope and apply new competencies across various roles.

“We are trying to improve on our mindset to develop multi-capable Airmen by incorporating every participant’s [Air Force Specialty Code, or career field],” said Maj. Raymon LaFleur, Chief Executive Office of the 154th Civil Engineer Squadron and Exercise Director for Pacific Warriorz. “This gives everyone a taste of the various roles each AFSC plays in the exercise.”

During the simulated airfield attack, Airmen were provided a scenario where a ‘suspicious chemical’ was released into the battlefield. The Emergency Management team, comprised of guardsmen from the 154th CES, reservists from the 624th Regional Support Group, and active duty service members from the 647th Force Support Squadron, were tested on their ability to adapt to the scenario.

“We had pre-established power routes, when suspicious chemicals were released,” said Senior Airman Angelblayze Padilla, an emergency management planner from the 154th CES. “We pivoted and performed runner routes to assess what was out there and report back to leadership. The Airmen were directed to don various degrees of Mission Oriented Protective Posture gear in response to the chemical release.”

The exercise aims to bolster the partnerships between the guardsmen, reservists and active duty whose missions support the same recovery efforts in the airfield. The guardsmen and reservists benefitted from the interaction with active duty.

“Drill is often spent catching up with administrative readiness requirements, so we don’t practice as often as our active duty counterparts with the equipment required to perform the mission,” said Padilla. “It was really nice because they came into the exercise with a lot of experience. They gave us reminders and tips on how to perform and how the equipment works. They had an active-duty Airman who was on top of things all the time. It was a good thing they were with us.”

After the simulated attack, the increased involvement and number of trained Airmen during the surge of recovery efforts exponentially increases the rate of success and reduces the time it will take to return friendly aircraft into the fight.

The Explosive Ordinance Disposal team from the 154th CES also participated in the exercise. They play a critical role in the RADR mission as they are responsible for clearing the impacted areas of ordinance and providing the green light proceed with airfield repairs.

​“It’s very important to train with our counterparts as we often do downrange,” says Senior Master Sgt. Kareem Fuertes, from the 154th Civil Engineer Squadron’s Emergency Management Team. “They train together to develop the cohesiveness required to maximize their performance in the field and get our airframes back into the fight.”




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