Swift Response exercise brings big picture into focus

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Trevor Saylor
  • 934th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Once a month, on a typical UTA weekend, Airmen of the 934th AW descend on the Minneapolis Air Reserve Station for two days of training. Essentially, that is what the AFR does: they prepare, repeatedly and often, and it is not always clear for what they are preparing. It can be difficult sometimes to see the forest for the trees, as some Airmen become frustrated with what can appear to be a near-endless cycle of training and preparation. That training doesn't always bear visible fruit.

Taking part in the recent exercise Swift Response 15 helped me to contextual use what we do, and show that there is a desired end product. UTAs do not exist in a vacuum, and there are times when the mixture of people, skills, and preparedness creates a cocktail of success.

Whereas on UTAs there can be a discord as the various units work amongst themselves, at SR15 there was a seamless blend of action as we all read from the same sheet of music. Maintenance, crew chiefs, pilots, navigators, administrative support staff--and yes, even public affairs--played a part in making the orchestra that is the 934th AW play in sync and show why we are one of the best units in the AFR.

It has been a great pleasure to interact with 934 AW members that I had heretofore not met. It has been great to see the camaraderie that we have in Minneapolis and watch it carry over to day-to-day work, and it was occasionally in stark contrast with other units. The 934 AW has shown that training does have a purpose; that CBTs and CDCs can, when planted in fertile soil, bear fruit.

This expedition has given new life to someone who has on more than one occasion, questioned where the training was leading, and of it would ever prove useful. After seeing the 934 AW in action, the answer is a resounding yes.