Air Force Reserve’s 932nd Airlift Wing enhances wartime readiness in Exercise Spartan Reserve

  • Published
  • By 932nd Public Affairs office
  • 932nd Airlift Wing

Approximately 200 Reserve Citizen Airmen from the 932nd AW took part in Phase Two of Exercise Spartan Reserve, held from April 5-7. The event occurred at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, and Sparta Training Area, Sparta, Illinois.

During this multi-day training, the Citizen Airmen arrived at a bare field, constructed an airbase, and defended it against threats. This exercise tested their wartime readiness and showcased the Air Force Reserve’s ability to mobilize and maintain operations in challenging conditions.

Strategic Flexibility and Interoperability

Echoing the agility and interoperability seen in the Rally in the Pacific held late last year, Spartan Reserve showcased the role of the Air Force Reserve in ensuring America’s aerial dominance. Col. Jeffrey Smith, 932nd AW commander, highlighted the strategic importance of such drills, stating, “This exercise is a testament to our adaptability and resilience, proving that we can project power anywhere, anytime.”

Citizen Airmen, unlike their full-time active-duty counterparts, can often bring their civilian career experiences to their military roles. According to Smith, this mix of military training and civilian expertise allows them to find innovative solutions to unique challenges.

Staff Sgt. Andrea Roberts, 932nd Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, exemplifies this dynamic. “Working in emergency management systems in my civilian life exposes me to new medical techniques and technologies every day,” she said. “I bring this knowledge to my role as a reserve Airman, enhancing my capabilities and boosting our military’s overall readiness and effectiveness.”

During the exercise, the Citizen Airmen displayed expertise in security and medical response, command and control, mission support and more. They participated in simulated enemy attacks and medical treatment scenarios, practiced managing communications and making decisions in command and control exercises, and handled logistics and resource coordination to ensure the seamless operation of the exercise.

Adapting to New Environments

Master Sgt. Adam Pollow, 932nd Inspector General Wing exercise coordinator, emphasized the significance of adapting to a new strategic landscape, particularly the Indo-Pacific region.

“Spartan Reserve is vital for equipping our Airmen to navigate the complexities of modern warfare, especially if confronted by near-peer competitors,” he explained. “It offers a practical arena for assessing and enhancing our readiness to face evolving global challenges.”

The exercise also showcased the collaboration between the Illinois Army National Guard’s 1st Assault Helicopter Battalion, 106th Aviation Regiment, based in Peoria, Illinois, who provided two HH-60 Helicopters for security transportation. Airmen with the 182nd Airlift Wing provided seamless integration and combat communications support. This partnership highlighted the collective strength essential for successful joint operations.

Incorporating lessons from the Rally in the Pacific, Spartan Reserve emphasized the importance of agile combat employment and operating effectively in contested environments. “The exercise’s success resulted from meticulous planning, with every aspect carefully orchestrated to enhance the participants’ capabilities,” Pollow added.

Strategic Priorities and Future Readiness

The annual exercise aligned with the Air Force Reserve’s strategic priorities of “Ready Now!” and “Transforming for the Future,” as established by the commander of Air Force Reserve Command, Lt. Gen. John Healy, showcasing the Reserve’s capability to swiftly and efficiently address global challenges.

As the Air Force Reserve continues to adapt and evolve, the 932nd AW commander emphasized that exercises like Spartan Reserve are invaluable for maintaining operational readiness and reinforcing the United States’ strategic advantage.

“The dedication and performance of the 932nd AW highlights the Reserve’s capability to meet the demands of the modern battlefield, ensuring the Air Force’s preparedness for any challenge,” Smith concluded.