Barnes Practices Alert Scramble
By Capt. Matthew T. Mutti, Wing Executive Staff Officer, 104th Fighter Wing
/ Published April 04, 2009
BARNES AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Massachusetts -- The countdown to January 2010 is quickly rolling by, we are less then 9 months away from being operational in our new Air Sovereignty Alert mission.
On 26 March at 2:00 p.m. the wing practiced its first exercise scramble. This exercise is the first of many in order to get the wing ready for its new mission.
With this exercise scenario, the different agencies that are responsible for a piece of the alert puzzle were able to work through some of their initial scramble process. They were able to see through practical application how important timing, communication and pace are when deploying aircraft in 5-7 minutes, versus the standard 20-30 minutes.
As the alarm rang out, Capt. Dan Wittmer and Lt. Col. Tomas Kelly ran to their jets, started the engines and within 6 minutes they were at the end of the runway with afterburners lit.
"As the exercise progressed everyone began to run through the appropriate procedural checklists, getting familiar with their newly assigned tasks while making sure to identify areas for improvement," said Lt. Col. Jay Davis, chief of flight safety and ASA project officer. "We have a few months to improve the process, but were off to a great start."
Once the ASA complex is completed the scenarios will be less scripted and will provide even better training for both the pilots and the support personnel.