June, 13

Travis Hosts Large Readiness Exercise > Air Force Reserve Command > Feature Article

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The Air Force Reserve’s 349th Air Mobility Wing was a major player when the active-duty 60th Air Mobility Wing executed Exercise Golden Phoenix, a large-scale readiness exercise synchronizing full-spectrum support from installation partners at Travis Air Force Base, California, in May.

The exercise was held in conjunction with Travis’ 621st Contingency Response Wing’s Exercise Storm Crow and featured maneuvering the joint force at tempo with direct support to a readiness exercise executed by the I Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Pendleton, California.

The I-MEF readiness exercise sought to demonstrate the skillsets to provide distributed operations across a wide range of terrain and generate combat-credible readiness throughout the Joint Dynamic Force Employment integrating service partners throughout the western United States.

The 60th Mission Support Group demonstrated Team Travis’ support for large force reception, staging, onward movement and integration operations. The team executed a three-day bed down of more than 340 Marines and Sailors.

These I-MEF Sailors and Marines, alongside 255 Devil Raiders from the 921st Contingency Response Support Squadron and 35 Airmen from the 60th AMW, were processed by the 60th AMW Logistics Readiness and Installation Deployment Readiness Cell through a realistic personnel deployment line exercising all requirements to ready personnel forces.

Additionally, the 60th Maintenance Group supported operations for more than 60 sorties within the 12-day exercise period, moving 1.53 million pounds of cargo and more than 700 passengers, deploying personnel to three downrange locations.

“Everyone had some piece of the puzzle to make it work,” said Dale Patterson, 60th Maintenance Group deputy commander. “It’s a Total Force initiative between the active duty, the civilian workforce and the Reserve workforce. One team, no seam. We could not do this without their help.”

“When we say ‘Team Travis,’ we truly mean it’s a Total Force effort,” said the 349th AMW’s Maj. Jami Gunnels. “It is our duty as the Reserve component to support the installation, providing that critical subject matter expertise and backfilling those essential positions. Exercise Golden Phoenix was no exception. Our Reserve teams integrated directly into the mission set, providing a large spectrum of support and operational functions.”

“Our largest success was demonstrating the ability to assess, open and operate airfields in a contested environment with the help of our joint force partners,” said Lt. Col. Timothy Kniefel, 921st CRSS commander. “This capability will be absolutely critical to the future fight, and we couldn’t have done it without the Marines, the 60th AMW and the unwavering dedication of every single multi-capable contingency response member on the team.”

The exercise addressed Air Mobility Command’s focus areas to include resilient command and control, navigation, operations and logistics at tempo. The 60th and 349th AMWs also practiced flexible deterrent and response options, including the ability to land in austere environments and quickly accomplish a mission in dynamic environments.

“The expeditionary air base was tasked with taking over the base from contingency response forces in order to allow them to project the cluster farther forward,” said Maj. Cal San Filippo, expeditionary air base detachment commander. “We immediately integrated into the CR’s operating schedule and began manning shifts. The team wasted no time.”

The exercise culminated with a maximum aircraft generation event demonstrating the installation’s ability to ready and launch 21 aircraft in rapid succession, showcasing Team Travis’ posture as the Gateway to the Pacific.

“We’ve never launched this many jets at a time,” said Capt. Keegan Reynolds, C-17 instructor pilot and lead mission planner. “I can’t think of a better way to end the exercise. Every aircraft that was prepared to take off was green and it did.”

(Information for this article came from an article written by 2nd Lt. Casey Sturdivan, 60th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs. To see the original article, click on

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