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    Prep work: 181st Services Flight hones readiness for future missions



    Courtesy Story

    181st Intelligence Wing Public Affairs

    HULMAN FIELD AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Ind. (Sept. 14, 2020) — Airmen assigned to 181st Services Flight of the Indiana Air National Guard’s 181st Intelligence Wing engaged in a series of training activities to maintain their readiness in military and domestic response operations at home and across the world on Sept. 13 here.

    The purpose of the training was to ensure equipment is in a ready state and to ensure 181st SVF troops are prepared to support requests for ANG assistance.

    According to U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. William Crady, a base services specialist with the 181st SVF, Services Airmen performed a build up and tear down of a single pallet expeditionary kitchen (SPEK), which consists of a temper tent and mobile kitchen equipment to prepare meals for troops in various environments. Training on setting up and disassembling the SPEK gives Airmen an overall brief of how to operate a SPEK.

    That type of training translates directly to real-world applications.

    “We’ve worked out of SPEKs before in real-world events,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Lance Hopper, the commander of the 181st Mission Support Group, while speaking to the troops.

    Moreover, the equipment maintained by the 181st SVF must exist in a ready state in case other Air Force components need use of the 181st IW’s resources.

    “Every month, we do a readiness report,” said Crady. “At any time, big Air Force can call us and say, ‘hey, we need your SPEK.’ So at least quarterly we need to operate the equipment and ensure everything is running right.”

    In addition, general training with temper tents is important because the facilities are used for more than just food services.

    “Temper tents are used in a lot of domestic support operations,” said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Lenny Wheeler, the fatality search and recovery team lead for the 181st SVF. “For example, they have feeding and mortuary affairs uses.”

    Indeed, training in the variety of functions performed by Services Airmen played a key role in recent activations of 181st SVF troops for domestic support operations.

    “Services was activated in Plymouth, Indiana and at Stout Field in Indianapolis,” said Wheeler. “We stayed pretty busy with medical logistics and back stocking. We made sure there were trailers of supplies ready to augment different sites.”

    Looking back, Wheeler expressed pride in the work completed by the 181st Services Flight.

    “We accomplished quite a lot,” said Wheeler. “And we still have people deployed for domestic support.”

    Indeed, maintaining readiness is particularly important in light of recent increased National Guard domestic support missions across the United States. That increase in missions is not lost amongst the members of the 181st Services Flight, as seen with their performance of September training activities.

    To be sure, the 181st Services Flight is building upon their recent training by planning for future training exercises to better familiarize themselves with temper tent and SPEK operations in anticipation of future activations.

    “We try to train with SPEKs at least yearly, and we are planning to do more training here shortly,” said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Margo Smith, the 181st IW unit fitness manager and lodging non-commissioned officer in charge.

    By engaging in continuous training activities to maintain readiness, the Services Airmen from the 181st IW remain willing and able to respond to calls for domestic support missions and more at home and beyond.



    Date Taken: 09.14.2020
    Date Posted: 10.07.2020 20:08
    Story ID: 379287

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