The exercise builds on capabilities for the future fight, increasing the readiness, lethality and agility of the Air Force Reserve.
More than 600 Reserve Citizen Airmen from 42 installations descended upon three different military installations as Patriot Warrior 2019 kicked off. Fort McCoy, Wis. serves as the primary exercise site, while Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga. and Minneapolis-Saint Paul Air Reserve Station, Minn. act as support locations.
Incorporating more than 67 career fields, the exercise builds the strategic depth and accelerates the readiness of the Air Force Reserve command by testing individual Air Force Reserve units in numerous real-world scenarios. Starting from a bare bones location, service members stood-up a fully operational base, equipped with mobile hospitals that accept simulated patients flown in on military aircraft. Over the course of 19 days, airmen work alongside soldiers, sailors, marines, and international service members to accomplish command and control operations, air drops, explosives training, patient care, and logistics operations.
“Patriot Warrior is a great exercise because it gives us realistic scenarios that we might actually face,” said Staff Sgt. Ashlee Rodriguez, radio frequency transmission systems craftsman with the Air Force Reserve’s 433rd Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, Joint Base San Antonio, Lackland, Texas.
Patriot Warrior simulates wartime activities in austere environments, which present unique challenges for participants.
“You definitely have to be resourceful,” said Rodriguez. “Things don’t always go as planned, so we often find ourselves having to think outside the box and use resources in unconventional ways to accomplish the mission.”
“This exercise definitely helps us put our skills to use,” says Major Kubwimana “Moses” Mhayamaguru, a flight surgeon in the Air Force Reserve’s 943rd Aerospace Medical Squadron, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. “What I’m looking forward to is the interactions with the aeromedical evacuation teams and actually getting patients from the teams and getting them on the aircraft, with the pieces of the puzzle in place, just like a deployed location.”
Photos by Tech. Sgt. Gregory Brook / US Air Force 4th Combat Camera Squadron