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Training level: High

Jan. 21, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

GULFPORT, Miss. -- Airmen deploying downrange without proper training would quickly find themselves in an even tougher situation than they would already be in while in a hostile area. This is why it is important for airmen to participate in realistic training missions to help prepare for what they may encounter while deployed.

Members of the West Virginia Air National Guard's 130th Airlift Wing, Wyoming Air National Guard's 153rd Airlift Wing, Scott Air Force Base's 375th Air Mobility Wing and Joint Base Andrews' 89th Airlift Wing joined at Mississippi Air National Guard's Gulfport Combat Readiness Training Center in Gulfport, Miss., to form the 134th Air Expeditionary Wing for an Operational Readiness Exercise.

"This wing will be challenged with demonstrating our ability to fly, flight and win during simulated combat operations," Col. Jerry Gouhin, 130th AW commander and acting 134th AEW commander said. "This can be the most challenging and rewarding experience of your careers. With a safety first outlook, a positive attitude, concern for our wingmen, a sense of urgency and realism we can pass any test."

Operation Crisis Look is the first of two Operational Readiness Exercises leading up to the Operational Readiness Inspection to be held June at the Michigan Air National Guard's Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center in Alpena, Mich. The exercise is designed to give airmen an idea of what they may experience during a deployment.

"They do this to prepare us for an actual deployment," Senior Airman David Cadle, 130th AW legal airman said. "I think it is great because it familiarizes everyone with the process we go through. The stress levels are high when we are deploying and something as simple as knowing the basics of what to expect helps us better handle the situation."

Airmen participating in Operation Crisis Look are required to follow rules as if they were actually deployed. No one is allowed to leave base, consume alcohol or use cellphones in the "play area." Airmen are given a complete list of dos and don'ts and other necessary information in information booklets.

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