459th ARW exercise planners hold ROC drill for SPAM exercise

  • Published
  • By Maj. Tim Smith
  • 459th Air Refueling Wing

Exercise planners with the 459th Air Refueling Wing recently held a “Rehearsal of Concept” drill (ROC drill) in preparation for the unit’s upcoming local South Pacific Air Force Multi-mission exercise.

The purpose of the ROC drill is to literally lay everything out on the table to create a 3-D visual for the planning partners. In this case, the unit used the auditorium floor. “The ROC drill is used to help describe the details associated with a mission, role/responsibilities, and functions necessary to fully support operations in a future environment,” said Capt. Michael Doris, SPAM Project Officer.

Thus, the elements seen in the ROC drill are representative of what will be present when the exercise takes place. The exercise planners see this as an essential part of exercise development. It helps in answering some of the logistical questions and resolving some of the issues that may have developed over the course of planning.

“It offers an opportunity to bring fidelity to the exercise mission scenario,” said Doris. “Planners were able to get a true feel of the terrain to understand exercise limitations and opportunities. The drill resulted in some major improvements to our training scenarios and identified the need for follow on engagement leading up to the exercise.”

Also supportive of the use of ROC drills is the 459th Security Forces Squadron, who are veterans of the use of this tool. Members there say it ensures all understand the plan and even helps to point out particularly complicated elements that may require direct or indirect adjustments. “This process allows everyone involved in a mission to confirm the plan is complete and potential risks to mission success are identified,” said Senior Master Sgt. Daniel Ganus, 459th SFS Superintendent of Programs and Readiness.

Additionally, a ROC drill provides commanders an opportunity to confirm all involved understand what’s required in the exercise. Wing leaders applaud the planners for holding a ROC drill for this exercise.

“This is exactly the type of initiative I want to see in our exercise planners,” said 459th ARW Commander Col. Greg Buchanan. “It not only helps provide a clearer picture to assist with exercise planning and development, but it also makes the planning process much more interesting… and even a bit fun. All of this is important in helping us maintain our mission readiness and test our agile combat support capabilities.”

This ROC drill was created via a combination of effort and resources from the Wing Inspector General Office Plans Section, the 459th Security Forces Squadron, and the SPAM exercise project officer.