459th conducts readiness exercise

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Cierra Presentado
  • 459 ARW/PA

JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. – During this month’s Unit Training Assembly, the wing participated in a downscaled version of their periodic Tiger Claw exercise.

Members of the 459th Maintenance Group, 459th Operations Support Squadron, 756th Air Refueling Squadron, and 459th Air Refueling Wing Command Post participated in a four-hour long exercise that would have normally spanned four days.

“Normally, the wing exercises are four days long, but we had to condense it to allow for the wing to comply with the COVID-19 mandate,” said Maj. Jacob Fuka, 459th ARW Director of Inspections. “Despite the limited time, our players were able to get in some valuable training.”

During the exercise, the Operations Group deployed five aircrews and launched five jets in a formation.

“The exercise may have been scaled down, but we were able to get our crews out there and demonstrate readiness,” Maj. Fuka said. “Tiger Claw allows members to practice for inspections from higher headquarters as well as for real world.”

The wing plans to increase readiness exercises in the future.

“I want folks to understand that we don’t exercise to prep for exercises, we exercise for real world,” said Maj. Fuka. “We have a lot to work on and the exercises are only going to help us get better.”

The wing plans to return to the regular full-scale exercise early next year.

“I’m proud of our aircrews, maintenance, and the command post, and the fact that they were able to deploy five crews and successfully launch five jets during the exercise is outstanding” said Col. Gregory Buchanan, 459th ARW Commander. “Even though we scaled down the exercise to allow our folks to get the COVID vaccine, they were still able to perform at a high level.”