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Team Wright-Patt uses exercises to ‘maximize mission effectiveness’

Jeffrey Kitzmiller, 788th Civil Engineer Fire Department assistant chief, briefs members of the 88th Air Base Wing Public Affairs office who are playing the role of local media during a practice press conference that was held as part of a 420,000 gallon fuel spill exercise at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, May 19, 2021. Readiness exercises are routinely held to streamline unit cohesion when responding to emergencies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Wesley Farnsworth)

Jeffrey Kitzmiller, 788th Civil Engineer Fire Department assistant chief, briefs members of the 88th Air Base Wing Public Affairs office who are playing the role of local media during a practice press conference that was held as part of a 420,000 gallon fuel spill exercise at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, May 19, 2021. Readiness exercises are routinely held to streamline unit cohesion when responding to emergencies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Wesley Farnsworth)

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio - The 88th Air Base Wing and its command team have rolled out a new strategic plan that defines the mission and vision statements, values, characteristics and traits.

“Maximize mission effectiveness,” the second of four revised lines of effort, was implemented to strengthen the 88 ABW’s operational and strategic principles.

Leaders said there is no bigger component to the importance of this effort than Wright-Patterson Air Force Base’s exercise plan.

The base plan consists of several important exercises that range from force-protection condition changes, hazardous-material spills and tornado response to an active-shooter scenario, scheduled to take place again Aug. 18. 

“We must be ready to deal with these exercise requirements in a real-world scenario,” said David Filipkoski, an installation exercise and inspection program manager. “On occasion, we do some smaller-scale exercises that may deal with a specific scenario that would only happen at WPAFB, but the bulk of what we do works to the overall Air Force big picture.”

The wing’s mission is to deliver war-winning capabilities through agile installation and mission support.

Base officials say exercises are vital for first responders and base leaders to review internal procedures, measure preparedness and improve processes.  

“Now that’s a broad mission,” said Wendy Larson, the 88th Air Base Wing’s inspector general. “But in the simplest form, exercise planning, execution and evaluating are all important to ensure this wing can not only respond to any contingency – but also recover in the aftermath.” 

Regardless of the contingency, the installation’s mission must continue.

Larson said 88 ABW must support the surveillance, acquisition, research and other national-defense missions entrusted to it. 

“The exercise program allows us to test the seams, see where we have blind spots and find areas to improve,” she added. “The goal is when a real-world contingency is presented, the response is well rehearsed so the mission continues to be effective.”