Nearly 200 Airmen of the Delaware Air Guard return home today after exercise in Michigan

Release Number: 030812


After several days of successful training in northern Michigan, the main body of about 200 Airmen from the Delaware Air National Guard's 166th Airlift Wing will come home today, August 9, starting late morning and continuing through this evening, aboard four aircraft after completing an Air Force Operational Readiness Exercise. The Airmen departed New Castle on August 3 and 4 for Michigan.

The Airmen are returning home aboard C-130 and C-17 transport aircraft. About 35 Airmen came home last night, August 8, aboard a C-130 aircraft, and about the same number returned home late morning today aboard a C-130 aircraft.

A 40-person Air Force Exercise Evaluation Team observed all aspects of the training as the Airmen reacted to a series of exercise inputs intended to make them react quickly, properly and safely when confronted with a variety of simulated combat situations throughout the day. This gave the Airmen practice in managing various exercise scenarios correctly, and to learn from the experience so that adjustments can be made.

"This is exactly the kind of exercise that helps us meet Air Force standards, giving us a professional evaluation that simulates some of the discomforts of a real-world scenario, so that when the real call comes to respond to a natural or man-made disaster, or go overseas into a combat zone, we are better able to perform our flying and fighting mission," said Brig. Gen. Carol Timmons, Assistant Adjutant General for Air, Delaware National Guard.

Alpena is next to Thunder Bay, part of Lake Huron, one of the Great Lakes, about 20 miles from the Canadian border. The Airmen never went near the bay or lake, but instead conducted their exercise at the ANG Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, located about five miles inland from Alpena, and surrounded by Thunder Bay River State Forest.

The purpose of the ORE is to promote excellence in training in an atmosphere that purposely contains enough unpredictability to stress the mind and body, while testing teamwork and pushing members' ability to survive and operate while performing our mission in a simulated combat environment.

The Delaware Air Guard Airmen were joined at the ORE by about the same number of Airmen from our ANG sister unit, the 117th Air Refueling Wing in Birmingham, Ala. The wings combined into an expeditionary wing for training purposes for the exercise, with the 166th AW acting as the lead unit.

The 166th AW will have another ORE, currently scheduled to occur September 2013, at the Gulfport CRTC in Miss.

The OREs are preparation for the Operational Readiness Inspection scheduled for June 2014 with over 300 wing Airmen participating. The wing's last ORI was March-April 2009 and was held at the Alpena CRTC.

The Delaware Air National Guard is a reserve component of the U.S. Air Force with 1,100 positions under command of the Governor of Delaware, or the President of the United States when mobilized. The Delaware ANG has been serving Delaware and the United States of America since 1946.

This release is in the public domain, and any part may be used as written.

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