167th Airlift Wing conducts annual “superdrill”

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  • By Staff Sgt. Edward Michon

The 167th Airlift Wing conducted an annual four-day extended drill, June 6-9, at Shepherd Field, Martinsburg, West Virginia.

In contrast to the standard two-day drill weekend, the four-day assembly is known as “superdrill”, and offers more time for wing members to complete annual readiness requirements as well as opportunities to focus on specialty trainings.

“Our first priority was to ensure our deployers are taken care of and ready to head out the door later this month,” said Col. Martin Timko, 167th Airlift Wing commander. “Ready Airmen Training was our other main priority.”

The extended drill enabled Airmen to complete training on tasks that would be used specifically in a contingency environment.

The Civil Engineering Squadron conducted Rapid Airfield Damage Repair (RADR) training, performing 11 repairs in four hours. With the four-day drill, 90% of the squadron was able to familiarize with the RADR training, whereas before, only a few squadron members had been introduced to the course.

“To be able to get our guys together for four consecutive days allowed us to get the newer members fully trained on things they’ve never seen,” said Senior Master Sgt. Matt Laign, 167th Civil Engineering operations manager. “We were able get them spun up for a contingency environment where they will be tested to perform these tasks.”

Additionally, CE members were able to set up small systems shelters, which many of the new members were unfamiliar with.

Services Airmen also trained in setting up the small systems shelters as well as the single pallet expeditionary kitchen (SPEK) tent, both often used in field operations.

“It was good training as this is what we would do when we go down range,” said Master Sgt. Sara Church, 167th Force Support Squadron sustainment services superintendent. “The ability to perform these tasks during a regular drill is very limited. These four days gave us time to focus on these tasks.”

The 167th Logistics Readiness Squadron facilitated the Personnel Deployment Function and Cargo Deployment Function lines for deploying members and conducted more in-depth on-the-job training.

“We ran the CDF and PDF for the upcoming deployment and we were able to focus on more concentrated career field specific training,” said Capt. Heather Kitay, 167th LRS director of operations. “But it’s also an opportunity to connect with people more than you normally would during a regular drill.”

167th LRS air transportation specialists prepared for operations in a contingency environment by building pallet trains for outsized or oversized cargo, which is common in a deployment setting, but is rarely needed at home station.

“Super drill is a necessity for us because we can go out and focus on our jobs and get important hands-on training," said Master Sgt. Chris Crowell, 167th air freight section chief.

The 167th Operations Squadron conducted deployment out-processing for their deploying Airmen and performed integrated mission sorties (IMS) to enhance refueling capacities and increase global mobility.

“The training being conducted for a four-day drill is just one of the benefits,” said Lt. Col. Ryan Hawk, chief pilot for the 167th Operations Squadron, “superdrill also allows socialization and camaraderie within the unit.”

June’s extended drill at the 167th enhanced unit cohesion and proved successful in preparing Airmen for current and future deployments.