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6th LRS tests Airmen in simulated contested environment

Aircrew and maintenance Airmen from the 91st Air Refueling Squadron (ARS) perform KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft pre-flight checks while wearing aircrew eye and respiratory protection system equipment during a large-scale readiness exercise at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, May 20, 2021

Aircrew and maintenance Airmen from the 91st Air Refueling Squadron (ARS) perform KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft pre-flight checks while wearing aircrew eye and respiratory protection system equipment during a large-scale readiness exercise at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, May 20, 2021. The 91st ARS worked closely with Airmen from the 6th Air Refueling Wing to ensure total force success in contested environments. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Hiram Martinez)

A KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft pilot with the 91st Air Refueling Squadron (ARS) right, speaks to a maintainer with the 6th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron (AMXS) left, on the flight line during a large-scale readiness exercise  at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, May 20, 2021. The 91st ARS and the 6th AMXS worked alongside each other during phase two of the LRE to ensure KC-135 Stratotankers were up and running in a simulated contested environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Hiram Martinez)

A KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft pilot with the 91st Air Refueling Squadron (ARS) right, speaks to a maintainer with the 6th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron (AMXS) left, on the flight line during a large-scale readiness exercise at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, May 20, 2021. The 91st ARS and the 6th AMXS worked alongside each other during phase two of the LRE to ensure KC-135 Stratotankers were up and running in a simulated contested environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Hiram Martinez)

A maintainer with the 6th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron (AMXS) prepares a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft for take-off at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, May 20, 2021. The 6th AMXS ensured that the KC-135 Stratotankers were ready to provide air refueling at a moment’s notice, anywhere in the world. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Hiram Martinez)

A maintainer with the 6th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron (AMXS) prepares a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft for take-off at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, May 20, 2021. The 6th AMXS ensured that the KC-135 Stratotankers were ready to provide air refueling at a moment’s notice, anywhere in the world. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Hiram Martinez)

KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft pilots with the 91st Air Refueling Squadron (ARS) perform pre-flight checks during a large-scale readiness exercise (LRE), at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, May 20, 2021. The 91st ARS also took part in phase two of the LRE to practice providing air refueling in a simulated contested environment.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Hiram Martinez)

KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft pilots with the 91st Air Refueling Squadron (ARS) perform pre-flight checks during a large-scale readiness exercise (LRE), at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, May 20, 2021. The 91st ARS also took part in phase two of the LRE to practice providing air refueling in a simulated contested environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Hiram Martinez)

Maintainers with the 6th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron (AMXS) perform pre-flight inspections on a KC-135 Stratotanker at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, during a large-scale readiness exercise (LRE), May 20, 2021. The 6th AMXS had a pivotal role during phase two of the LRE by continuing to provide mission support in a simulated contested environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Hiram Martinez)

Maintainers with the 6th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron (AMXS) perform pre-flight inspections on a KC-135 Stratotanker at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, during a large-scale readiness exercise (LRE), May 20, 2021. The 6th AMXS had a pivotal role during phase two of the LRE by continuing to provide mission support in a simulated contested environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Hiram Martinez)

U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 6th Logistics Readiness Squadron perform a post-attack reconnaissance (PAR) sweep at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, during a large-scale readiness exercise (LRE), May 19, 2021. PAR sweeps are a vital part of phase two of the LRE in order to ensure sustainment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Hiram Martinez)

U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 6th Logistics Readiness Squadron perform a post-attack reconnaissance (PAR) sweep at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, during a large-scale readiness exercise (LRE), May 19, 2021. PAR sweeps are a vital part of phase two of the LRE in order to ensure sustainment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Hiram Martinez)

U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 6th Logistics Readiness Squadron perform a post-attack reconnaissance (PAR) sweep at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, during a large-scale readiness exercise, May 19, 2021. PAR sweeps assess any damages caused by enemy opposition to help commanders make decisions on protective postures and recovery actions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Hiram Martinez)

U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 6th Logistics Readiness Squadron perform a post-attack reconnaissance (PAR) sweep at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, during a large-scale readiness exercise, May 19, 2021. PAR sweeps assess any damages caused by enemy opposition to help commanders make decisions on protective postures and recovery actions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Hiram Martinez)

A U.S. Air Force Airman from the 6th Logistics Readiness Squadron (LRS) operates a forklift during phase one of a large-scale readiness exercise, at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, May 18, 2021. The first phase, focused on rapid mobility of personnel, aircraft and assets. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Hiram Martinez)

A U.S. Air Force Airman from the 6th Logistics Readiness Squadron (LRS) operates a forklift during phase one of a large-scale readiness exercise, at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, May 18, 2021. The first phase, focused on rapid mobility of personnel, aircraft and assets. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Hiram Martinez)

U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 6th Logistics Readiness Squadron hold a personnel deployment function (PDF) line, at the start of a large-scale readiness exercise at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, May 18, 2021. The PDF line ensures Airmen are ready to deploy at a moment’s notice. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Hiram Martinez)

U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 6th Logistics Readiness Squadron hold a personnel deployment function (PDF) line, at the start of a large-scale readiness exercise at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, May 18, 2021. The PDF line ensures Airmen are ready to deploy at a moment’s notice. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Hiram Martinez)

MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --

Members from Team MacDill participated in a large-scale readiness exercise to continue pushing the Air Force Chief of Staff's initiative, ‘Accelerate Change or Lose.’ 

The LRE took place from May 19 through May 21 and was divided into two phases. Phase one focused on generation, the rapid mobility of aircraft, personnel and assets, according to Maj. Tyner Apt-Hill, the operations officer with the 6th Logistics Readiness Squadron.

“The 6th LRS has a large responsibility within generation due to the fact we 'own' the deployment control center and work with the installation deployment officers.” said Apt-Hill.

Generation takes place once the DCC is established and through guidance of the IDOs, they utilize the personnel and cargo deployment functions. The PDF line focuses on ensuring our personnel meet all deployment requirements to process. The CDF focuses on the cargo portion of the deployment. Cargo is reviewed before the movement to ensure it is safe to fly.

“The generation portion of the exercise is testing our ‘fight to get to the fight’ mentality,” added Apt-Hill.

Throughout the entirety of phase one however, the Airmen were met with various challenges. From bomb drills to cyberattacks like vishing.

“Our team is constantly focusing on how we can continue to operate from our home station, or deployed, regardless of enemy interruptions,” said Apt-Hill.

The 6th LRS’ job doesn’t just stop at phase one.

“The Air Force cannot fight without us,” said Staff Sgt. Logan Robinson, personal property supervisor with the 6th LRS.

With phase two taking place in a simulated contested environment, the Airmen were equipped with their mission oriented protective posture (MOPP) gear from the PDF line, while continuing to support the mission.

Due to the unprecedented nature of the exercise, they completed post-attack reconnaissance team sweeps during the employment and sustainment portion of the LRE.

“The biggest challenge in MOPP gear is learning to get comfortable with being uncomfortable,” said Robinson. “Being trapped in a suit for hours in the heat can sometimes make you think twice as much as you normally would on any tasks.”

The 6th LRS also weren't the only ones in their MOPP gear.

Airmen from the 6th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron (AMXS) and the 91st Air Refueling Squadron (ARS) played a pivotal role during phase two of the LRE.

“We need to ensure we’re right alongside the operators and flyers in order to perform seamlessly when the time comes,” added Robinson.

During the latter portion of the exercise, the Airmen from the 6th AMXS and the 91st ARS performed Team MacDill’s core task: providing world class air refueling with excellence.

“We’ve been saying for years that we’re the world’s greatest Air Force and we have been,” said Robinson. “But if we want to keep that title, then we need to constantly train and prepare for tomorrow’s fight in order to continue projecting air power, anytime, anywhere.”