Exercise 'Vigilant Sword' underway

MOFFETT FEDERAL AIRFIELD, Calif. -- The 129th Rescue Wing conducted Vigilant Sword, a Phase I Operational Readiness Exercise, Oct. 1-2 at Moffett Federal Airfield, Calif. in preparation for two Air Combat Command assessments scheduled in December 2011 and June 2012.

The Operational Readiness Inspection is divided into two full-spectrum assessments. Phase I includes the inspection of the wing's initial response to the ACC scenario and the simulated deployment of its Airmen. Phase II, scheduled for June 2012, evaluates the wing during their simulated deployment.

"The Guard goes above and beyond to prepare for this inspection," said Tech. Sgt. Jilianne Allen, an air transportation apprentice assigned to the 129th Logistics Readiness Squadron. "More questions are raised, there is more communication and they work harder to achieve the same results as active duty units."

The Phase I portion begins with an accountability recall approximately 24 to 48 hours before Airmen are required to report to base. Once present and accounted for, Airmen are placed into deployment groups and processed through a simulated personal deployment function line and board an aircraft in route to a tactical area of responsibility.

The PDF line is part of the pre-deployment check Airmen must go through to ensure they have all the proper documentation, medical clearances and requirements to deploy.

Through months of planning and past exercises, crews working the PDF line have been trained and made very proficient progression, said Allen, working as the non-commissioned officer in charge of passenger services during the ORI.

The process Airmen go through during the inspection is identical to real world scenarios. The same processing databases, regulations and rules are used, said Master Sgt. Mark Vindiola, a traffic management craftsman assigned to the 129th Logistics Readiness Squadron and non-commissioned officer in charge of the cargo movement operating systems during the ORI.

"We've made great strides over the last few months thanks to these exercises," Vindiola said. "I believe the 129th will be very successful."