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War Room Prepares Airmen For The Future Fight
by U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Cydney Lee
March 17, 2023

Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, recently implemented the War Room, an operational training team composed of cross-functional active duty, reservist and civilian members from squadrons across the base.

“[The War Room]...synchronizes training plans and efforts across the groups [and] develops tactics and procedures to close the [Air Mobility Command] gaps, in order to get ready to win the next war,” said Lt. Col. Raul Cantualla, 436th Plans and Programs chief.

1st Lt. Garrett Watts, left, and Capt. Ben Bertelson, right, U.S. Air Force 3rd Airlift Squadron C-17 Globemaster III pilots, sprint toward a C-17 and quickly begin to taxi it toward the runway during rapid departure training at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware on March 10, 2023. Team Dover Airmen participated in a week-long readiness training exercise during which the 3rd AS practiced rapid departure capabilities, further enabling their rapid response in a fast-paced threat environment. (Image created by USA Patriotism! from U.S. Air Force photos by Senior Airman Cydney Lee.)
1st Lt. Garrett Watts, left, and Capt. Ben Bertelson, right, U.S. Air Force 3rd Airlift Squadron C-17 Globemaster III pilots, sprint toward a C-17 and quickly begin to taxi it toward the runway during rapid departure training at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware on March 10, 2023. Team Dover Airmen participated in a week-long readiness training exercise during which the 3rd AS practiced rapid departure capabilities, further enabling their rapid response in a fast-paced threat environment. (Image created by USA Patriotism! from U.S. Air Force photos by Senior Airman Cydney Lee.)

The War Room is not a singular, isolated idea, but rather a piece of a larger puzzle that ensures the U.S. Air Force and its Airmen are the most ready, lethal force possible. It’s closely tied to the multi-capable Airmen and Agile Combat Employment concepts.

”MCA and ACE are at the forefront of how we designed our training events,” said Lt. Col. John Gerlach, 436th Airlift Wing chief of safety. “For example, we are providing opportunities for loadmasters and maintainers to practice loading and unloading aircraft without the presence of a traditional aerial port. This reduces our logistical footprint, increases flexibility, and enables a more lethal joint force.”

Developing MCA is the first key step to encourage new and innovative solutions within the Air Force and further Dover’s strategic global airlift capabilities in preparation for the next war.

“We have the equipment. What's going to win the war for us is going to be our Airmen and their capability to think outside the box, be creative [and] resilient,” said Cantualla. “MCA is how we're going to get after it.”

The War Room is not Dover’s first step in following Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr.’s strategic plan, ‘Accelerate Change or Lose,’ through exploring new operational concepts to prepare for the high-end fight. In the summer of 2022, Dover AFB held Liberty Eagle Readiness Exercise, a training event that tested the base’s ability to perform in a contested and degraded environment.

“We build a skill set and then build upon it; everything should have ‘connective tissue’,” said Cantualla.

For example, in one exercise, Team Dover Airmen may focus on building chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear skills, and in the following exercise they would build upon those CBRN skills by also focusing on communicating, moving, shooting and refueling, said Cantualla.

Most recently, the War Room hosted a base-wide training event March 6-10, incorporating tactical combat casualty care, CBRN, and a variety of other pre-deployment skills. This readiness event was entirely run by the War Room.

Several exercises and training opportunities are expected to occur in the future as well, with the War Room continuing to play a central part in the planning.

“We will continue to utilize exercises throughout the year to increase our readiness focusing on our ability to succeed in high-intensity conflict,” said Gerlach. “This level and type of training needs to become a normal part of our battle rhythm.”

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