55th Wing completes ORE

Members of the 55th Wing begin a post attack reconnaissance sweep of the flight line during an operational readiness exercise (ORE) at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, Jan. 23, 2018. OREs are exercises directed at honing combat readiness, and allow Airmen to receive deployment-like experiences at their home station.

Members of the 55th Wing begin a post attack reconnaissance sweep of the flight line during an operational readiness exercise (ORE) at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, Jan. 23, 2018. OREs are exercises directed at honing combat readiness, and allow Airmen to receive deployment-like experiences at their home station. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jacob Skovo-Lane)

A member of the 55th Wing conducts a post attack reconnaissance sweep of the flight line during an operational readiness exercise at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, Jan. 23, 2018. The exercise tested the 55th Wing’s readiness and ability to meet wartime and contingency taskings.

A member of the 55th Wing conducts a post attack reconnaissance sweep of the flight line during an operational readiness exercise at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, Jan. 23, 2018. The exercise tested the 55th Wing’s readiness and ability to meet wartime and contingency taskings. (U.S. Air Force photo by Rachel Hammes)

Members of the 55th Wing begin a post attack reconnaissance sweep of the flight line during an operational readiness exercise (ORE) at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, Jan. 24, 2018. OREs are exercises directed at honing combat readiness, and allow Airmen to receive deployment-like experiences at their home station.

Members of the 55th Wing begin a post attack reconnaissance sweep of the flight line during an operational readiness exercise (ORE) at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, Jan. 24, 2018. OREs are exercises directed at honing combat readiness, and allow Airmen to receive deployment-like experiences at their home station. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt Rachelle Blake)

Members of the 55th Wing conduct an operational readiness exercise (ORE) at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, Jan. 24, 2018. OREs are exercises directed at honing combat readiness, and allow Airmen to receive deployment-like experiences at their home station.

Members of the 55th Wing conduct an operational readiness exercise (ORE) at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, Jan. 24, 2018. OREs are exercises directed at honing combat readiness, and allow Airmen to receive deployment-like experiences at their home station. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Rachelle Blake)

Members of the 55th Wing conduct an operational readiness exercise (ORE) at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, Jan. 24, 2018. OREs are exercises directed at honing combat readiness, and allow Airmen to receive deployment-like experiences at their home station.

Members of the 55th Wing conduct an operational readiness exercise (ORE) at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, Jan. 24, 2018. OREs are exercises directed at honing combat readiness, and allow Airmen to receive deployment-like experiences at their home station. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Rachel Hammes)

Members of the 55th Wing begin a post attack reconnaissance sweep of the flight line during an operational readiness exercise at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, Jan. 23, 2018. The exercise tested the 55th Wing’s readiness and ability to meet wartime and contingency taskings.

Members of the 55th Wing begin a post attack reconnaissance sweep of the flight line during an operational readiness exercise at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, Jan. 23, 2018. The exercise tested the 55th Wing’s readiness and ability to meet wartime and contingency taskings. (U.S. Air Force photo by Zach Hada)

Members of the 55th Security Forces Squadron perform self aid buddy care on an individual during an operational readiness exercise at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, Jan. 23, 2018. The exercise tested the 55th Wing’s readiness and ability to meet wartime and contingency taskings.

Members of the 55th Security Forces Squadron perform self aid buddy care on an individual during an operational readiness exercise at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, Jan. 23, 2018. The exercise tested the 55th Wing’s readiness and ability to meet wartime and contingency taskings. (U.S. Air Force photo by Zach Hada)

Tech. Sgt. Cody Robertson inspects Staff Sgt. Nikolas Souvannason and Staff Sgt. Chris Moore, all with the 55th Medical Group, read through their Airman Manuel to determine what type of explosive is in front of them during a training exercise inside the Martin Bomber building on Offutt AFB, Neb., Jan 18.

Tech. Sgt. Cody Robertson inspects Staff Sgt. Nikolas Souvannason and Staff Sgt. Chris Moore, all with the 55th Medical Group, read through their Airman Manuel to determine what type of explosive is in front of them during a training exercise inside the Martin Bomber building on Offutt AFB, Neb., Jan 18. The exercise was part of an Air Combat Command initiative to increase individual readiness and wing abilities to meet wartime and contingency taskings. (U.S. Air Force photo by Charles Haymond)

Staff Sgt. Chris Cutler with the 55th Medical Group, puts on his oxygen mask before going through a training exercise with various working stations inside the Martin Bomber building on Offutt AFB, Neb., Jan. 18.

Staff Sgt. Chris Cutler with the 55th Medical Group, puts on his oxygen mask before going through a training exercise with various working stations inside the Martin Bomber building on Offutt AFB, Neb., Jan. 18. The exercise was part of an Air Combat Command initiative to increase individual readiness and wing abilities to meet wartime and contingency taskings. (U.S. Air Force photo by Charles Haymond)

Members of the 55th Security Forces Squadron secure the perimeter during a simulated attack during an Operational Readiness Exercise at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., Jan. 23,
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Members of the 55th Security Forces Squadron secure the perimeter during a simulated attack during an Operational Readiness Exercise at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., Jan. 23, 2018. The exercise tested the 55th Wing’s readiness and ability to meet wartime and contingency taskings. (U.S. Air Force photo by Zachary Hada)

Members of the 55th Wing begin a post attack reconnaissance sweep of the flight line as part of an Operational Readiness Exercise (ORE) at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., Jan. 23.
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Members of the 55th Wing begin a post attack reconnaissance sweep of the flight line as part of an Operational Readiness Exercise (ORE) at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., Jan. 23. The exercise tested the 55th Wing’s readiness and ability to meet wartime and contingency taskings. (U.S. Air Force photo by Zachary Hada)

Members of the 55th Wing begin a post attack reconnaissance sweep of the flight line during an Operational Readiness Exercise (ORE) at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., Jan. 23.
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Members of the 55th Wing begin a post attack reconnaissance sweep of the flight line during an Operational Readiness Exercise (ORE) at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., Jan. 23. OREs are directed at honing combat readiness and allow Airmen to receive deployment-like experiences at their home station. (U.S. Air Force photo by Zachary Hada)

Tech. Sgt. Johann Gonzalez, 55th Security Forces Squadron training instructor, performs self-aid buddy care on an individual during an Operational Readiness Exercise at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., Jan. 23.
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Tech. Sgt. Johann Gonzalez, 55th Security Forces Squadron training instructor, performs self-aid buddy care on an individual during an Operational Readiness Exercise at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., Jan. 23. OREs are directed at honing combat readiness, and allow Airmen to receive deployment-like experiences at their home station. (U.S. Air Force photo by Zachary Hada)

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. --

The 55th Wing completed an operational readiness exercise Jan. 24, despite a government furlough of civilian employees and a base shut down due to weather at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska.

The exercise was part of an Air Combat Command initiative to increase individual readiness and wing abilities to meet wartime and contingency taskings.

“The biggest thing for the Inspector General Inspections section is to evaluate the wing’s readiness,” said Tech. Sgt. Edward Lotz, the wing inspection planner for the 55th Wing IG office. “We have wing inspection team members across all our units that evaluate any task objectives that each one of the subordinate units need to achieve, and then we present all of that in one nice, clean, crisp report to the commander. It basically just gives him a good look at his wing’s capabilities and the readiness of all of the units.”

Airmen across the base demonstrated their ability to survive and operate in a chemical environment throughout the exercise. However, until the IG report on the exercise, the results are not available.

“The intent of this exercise was not to say that the wing was doing great or bad in any aspect of the word, it was to establish a baseline and see what direction we need to head to make things better,” Lotz said. “Because we established this baseline, when this report comes out all of the improvement areas will be sent out to all the subordinate units.”

The exercise, whose premise was based off of ACC guidance, was tweaked in order to match 55th Wing missions more accurately. The exercise also took into account Offutt’s many supporting units, which may not have a role in the deployment tempo. Those units were evaluated separately.

The government shutdown, which began Jan. 22 after the U.S. government failed to come to a budget agreement, coincided with the first day of the three-day air tasking order.

“That portion was played as though we were out at Base X, wherever that base may be, and we were getting attacked by country X, whatever country that may be,” Lotz said. “It focuses more on the operations side, so getting jets in the air and the maintenance support and logistics support required to make that happen.”

However, due to the nature of the exercise, most units were able to participate even without their civilian team members.

“We kind of tailored the exercise to be military specific,” Lotz said. “There might have been headaches in some supporting units that maybe would normally use that civilian counterpart to help out with getting that mission completed, but as far as the wing planning is concerned, it didn’t really mess up anything.”

The severe weather that also occurred Jan. 22 was of greater concern to the IG office, as non-essential personnel were released at 10 a.m., disrupting the exercise schedule.

“We didn’t miss out on anything, though, because when the Commander’s Action Team reconvened the next morning, we did a table top scenario playing through all of those objectives that we would have done had we not been dismissed due to weather,” Lotz said. “After we played through those roles and had that discussion, we were back on track and where we needed to be.”

Col. Michael Manion, 55th Wing commander, said he was pleased with the work the wing had directed toward the exercise.

"Operational readiness exercises are key component in ensuring that 55th Wing War Hawks are ready to take on any challenge, any time,” Manion said. “The wing came together, despite severe weather and a government shutdown, and gave 100 percent to ensure mission success. I’m proud of the wing and the hard work our Airmen dedicated to this exercise. We learned a lot from this exercise and will incorporate lessons learned to improve our readiness and lethality."