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Deploy, sustain, employ and recover

FTX Exercise tests wing capabilities

920th Rescue Wing Airmen place concertina Wire during an all encompassing wing training exercise Feb. 20, 2021 at Avon Park Air Force Range, Florida. Concertina wire is used to form military-style wire obstacles for perimeter and hasty defense postures for defense. The objective of the exercise was to showcase the effectiveness of the 920th RQW to execute agile basing and complete a full-mission spectrum at a moment’s notice at any location around the world. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt Kelly Goonan)

FTX Exercise tests wing capabilities

920th Rescue Wing Airmen place concertina Wire during an all encompassing wing training exercise Feb. 20, 2021 at Avon Park Air Force Range, Florida. Concertina wire is used to form military-style wire obstacles for perimeter and hasty defense postures for defense. The objective of the exercise was to showcase the effectiveness of the 920th RQW to execute agile basing and complete a full-mission spectrum at a moment’s notice at any location around the world. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt Kelly Goonan)

FTX Exercise tests wing capabilities

A 920th Security Forces Squadron Airman provides vehicle searching foundations Feb. 20, 2021, to Airmen during a three day field training exercise at Avon Park Air Force Range, Florida. The objective of the exercise was to showcase the effectiveness of the 920th RQW to execute agile basing and complete a full-mission spectrum at a moment’s notice at any location around the world. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt Kelly Goonan)

FTX Exercise tests wing capabilities

A 920th Rescue Wing Airman holds a compass during a three day field training exercise Feb. 20, 2021, at Avon Park Air Force Range, Florida. The objective of the exercise was to showcase the effectiveness of the 920th RQW to execute agile basing and complete a full-mission spectrum at a moment’s notice at any location around the world. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt Kelly Goonan)

FTX Exercise tests wing capabilities

A 920th Security Forces Squadron Airman provides range card instruction to Airmen at Avon Park Air Force Range, Florida, Feb. 20, 2021. Airmen were provided information on how to properly fill out range cards which helps identify sectors of fire and distances for effective firing. The objective of the exercise was to showcase the effectiveness of the 920th RQW to execute agile basing and complete a full-mission spectrum at a moment’s notice at any location around the world. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt Kelly Goonan)

FTX Exercise tests wing capabilities

Sleeping arrangements for 920th Rescue Wing Airmen during an all encompassing, three day field training exercise Feb. 20, 2021 at Avon Park Air Force Range, Florida. The objective of the exercise was to showcase the effectiveness of the 920th RQW to execute agile basing and complete a full-mission spectrum at a moment’s notice at any location around the world. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt Kelly Goonan)

FTX Exercise tests wing capabilities

A 920th Rescue Wing Airman fills a sandbag during a field training exercise Feb. 20, 2021 at Avon Park Air Force Range, Florida. Sandbags are usually placed in strategic locations to form sectors of fire against possible threats. The objective of the exercise was to showcase the effectiveness of the 920th RQW to execute agile basing and complete a full-mission spectrum at a moment’s notice at any location around the world. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt Kelly Goonan)

FTX Exercise tests wing capabilities

A 920th Rescue Wing Airman carries a sandbag during a field training exercise Feb. 20, 2021 at Avon Park Air Force Range, Florida. Sandbags are usually placed in strategic locations to form sectors of fire against possible threats. The objective of the exercise was to showcase the effectiveness of the 920th RQW to execute agile basing and complete a full-mission spectrum at a moment’s notice at any location around the world. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt Kelly Goonan)

FTX Exercise tests wing capabilities

A 920th Operations Group officer watches an HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter as it prepares to make a simulated emergency landing during an all encompassing wing field exercise Feb. 20, 2021 at Avon Park Air Force Range, Florida. The objective of the exercise was to showcase the effectiveness of the 920th RQW to execute agile basing and complete a full-mission spectrum at a moment’s notice at any location around the world. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt Kelly Goonan)

Tandem jump makes wing history
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An HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter lands at Avon Park Air Force Range, Florida, Feb. 20, 2020 during a combat capability training scenario. The scenario tested the 920th Maintenance Group’s response capability to an aircrew stranded on a remote tropical island after an essential sensor malfunctioned during a combat mission, forcing their aircraft to make an emergency landing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Kelly Goonan)

AVON PARK AIR FORCE RANGE, Fla. --

The 920th Rescue Wing tested its collaborative abilities to provide wing Airmen with a unique training exercise that challenged their capabilities to operate outside of their comfort zones here last month.

Representatives from each unit within the wing participated and played a crucial role in the FTX success. The objective was to showcase the effectiveness of the 920th RQW to execute agile basing and complete a full-mission spectrum at a moment’s notice at any location around the world.

More than 100 Airmen were mobilized to a bare-base site which simulated a deployed environment. Unlike previous real world deployments the wing has been a part of, in this scenario-based training the forces were expected to be self-sustaining and use as much organic equipment and resources as possible while working as a team to complete the mission.

“The objective was to deploy, sustain, employ and recover forces while validating tactics and techniques that are a part of our standard operating procedures,” the deputy lead for the operations planning team said. “This was an exercise to garner lessons learned, to see where our shortfalls are before we undertake the primary exercise in August.”  

Planning started in October 2020 when an operations planning team was established. The team was charged with outlining and working through the logistics while keeping in line with the wing commander’s priorities. They pinpointed areas of opportunity for the units and worked to build learning objectives.

The Mission Support Group took lead in the on-the-ground set up and execution. Running water, portal latrines and the site location had to be coordinated and established days prior to support the incoming Airmen. They also took on the role of supplying the Bivy Snugpack, a one-man tent given to each member as their sleeping arrangements and shelter for the weekend.

“This is not a scenario we are typically equipped to support. By focusing on a different type of mission, it demonstrated capabilities which were lacking or needed to be filled. The wing worked together to combine organic assets and outsourced only when absolutely necessary,” the operations team lead for the MSG said.  “I look forward to testing different size exercise packages to be more agile. We can adjust the MSG footprint to be heavier or lighter depending on the mission requirement.”

The 920th Force Support Squadron also had a large part in the event. Their primary role was to set up a SPEK; a Single Pallet Expeditionary kitchen to supply meals throughout the training weekend. This is a skill requirement, however it is not one that is regularly, if ever, utilized. FSS members were able to feed the 100+ Airmen with two hot and one pre-packaged meal per day.

Using this exercise opportunity to hone various skill sets, the 920th Security Forces Squadron set up multiple instruction stations. Practicing the correct placement of concertina wire, a military-style razor wire, and sandbags as defense postures to minimize threats, were among some of the proficiencies the SFS was expected to perform.

 “This was a dress rehearsal for a more detailed exercise coming up and we executed it with no major hiccups, it was an absolute success,” the operations planning team deputy said.

In addition to the training taking place on the ground, the 39th, 301st and 308th Rescue Squadrons, conducted training sorties. The 920th Maintenance Group kept the aircrafts in flying condition, allowing the aircrew to successfully complete two full combat search and rescue mission scenarios integrated within the exercise.

All of the units and squadrons worked together using their unique skills and strengths to achieve the shared goal of learning a new way to accomplish the mission. Through team work and communication the exercise highlighted areas of proficiency as well as opportunity for future improvements.