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145th AW Tests Wartime Readiness and Deployment Capabilities in Gulfport, Mississippi

  • Published
  • By by Senior Airman Thomas Arndt
  • 145th Airlift Wing

Charlotte, N.C.- Airmen from the 145th Airlift Wing will be testing their readiness training in a large-scale readiness exercise (LRE) that will take place in Gulfport, Mississippi throughout 2021. The exercise includes routine tasks using personal protection gear and establishing communication operations in a mock deployment environment. This training helps keep the North Carolina Air National Guard up to par with the Department of Defense’s standards and prepares the guardsmen for a variety of wartime scenarios.

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Robbert Gatti, the 145th Airlift Wing’s director of staff, is part of a group of Air National Guard members working with the inspector general, Emergency Management team, and the 145th Operations Group to ensure the 145th Airlift Wing stays mission ready. Lt. Col. Gatti stated, “Our Wing has not done something like this in over 10 years and that was with a different Air Frame. The coordination piece is massive and trying to complete all of this with an unknown COVID situation makes planning much more difficult.”

The team plans to complete the exercises over several trips to Gulfport throughout 2021 to be mission ready for an end-of-year inspection. Lt. Col. Gatti remarked, “Flying to a remote location helps to simulate a deployed environment. Additionally, not being able to rely on familiar situations will force outside the box thinking and promote buy-in to the scenario.”

“We will continue to approach this with a gradual degree of difficulty to allow folks to acclimate to scenario requirements,” stated Lt. Col. Gatti, ”With hard work and our wingmen, we can show the Air National Guard and the Air Mobility Command that Charlotte is the premier C-17 [Globemaster III] Air National Guard Base.”