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115th Fighter Wing Airmen showcase deployment readiness

Airmen train to deploy during the Operational Readiness Inspection at Truax Field in Madison, Wis., June 14. As part of the ORI, the 115th Fighter Wing was evaluated on command and control, deployment processing, employment readiness, information operations and force protection.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ryan Roth) (Released)

Airmen train to deploy during the Operational Readiness Inspection at Truax Field in Madison, Wis., June 14. As part of the ORI, the 115th Fighter Wing was evaluated on command and control, deployment processing, employment readiness, information operations and force protection. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ryan Roth) (Released)

MADISON, Wis. -- An inspection team from the Air Combat Command is evaluating the 115th Fighter Wing's ability to deploy aircraft and personnel overseas in support of contingency operations.

The inspectors, who will evaluate the Wing from July 13-18 as part of an Operational Readiness Inspection, will test the 115th's capabilities in command and control, employment processing, deployment readiness, information operations and force protection.

"The ORI is an evaluation of the unit's capability to transition from peacetime readiness to a surge operational posture and includes actions normally occurring prior to the outbreak of hostilities," said Maj. Mike Palmer, 115th Maintenance Operations Flight commander. "It will showcase the efforts of the 115th Fighter Wing in various functions to safely prepare our unit to deploy as an aviation package to support world contingencies. The goal of the ORI is to ensure the 115th is a combat ready unit."

All functional areas of the Wing participated in the inspection, Palmer said. The 115th Airmen completed five Operational Readiness Exercises in preparation for the inspection and continued to show their dedication by working 12-14 hour days to ensure tasks were completed quickly and accurately.

Airman 1st Class Brooke Bloedorn of the 115th Maintenance Group munitions, arrived on Truax Field from tech school last August and immediately began participating in OREs to prepare for the inspection.

"We've come a long way from that point, and have increased our standards and expectations for everything we do," Bloedorn said. "It's been a long road but nice to experience as a new Airman."

Bloedorn said her leadership has made the inspection fun while keeping focus which has helped to make the ORI run smoothly.

"It's been going well," Bloedorn said. "Everyone has had the opportunity to practice in all types of weather conditions during the exercises prior to this inspection. If we encounter a real-life scenario like this I'm confident we'll accomplish our tasks even faster than we have during the inspection."

ORIs typically take place every two to five years, Palmer said. The 115th plans to complete its next ORI during the summer of 2014. In the meantime, however, Airmen from throughout the fighter wing are embracing the opportunity to share in the inspection experience.

"The 115th Fighter Wing has an extraordinary group of Airmen, who under the command of Brigadier General [Joseph] Brandemuehl, continue to demonstrate their dedication to excellence," Palmer said.
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