Airmen maintain readiness at Air Dominance Center

Staff Sgt. Jacob Tapley, 159th Civil Engineer Squadron, takes part in dismounted patrol tactics as part of basic combat skills training at the Air Dominance Center in Savannah, Ga., June 7, 2021. The basic combat skills training was instructed by the 159th Security Forces Squadron as part unit operations readiness during annual training. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Daniel Farrell)By: Staff Sgt. Ryan J. Sonnier, 159th Fighter Wing Public Affairs Office

SAVANNAH, Ga. – 159th Fighter Wing Airmen from across Louisiana gathered at the Air Dominance Center in Savannah, Ga., for their annual training, June 6 – 11.

“Annual training allows us to network within our unit and across the organization to build long-term relationships that will help in our professional lives going forward,” said Col. Jonathan Mumme, the 159 Fighter Wing commander.

This year’s training is focused on building unit camaraderie and increasing unit readiness through various activities, such as: leadershipDr. Terry Lyles, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and stress coach, speaks to members of the 159th Fighter Wing during a Maxwell Group Leadership training at the Air Dominance Center in Savannah, Ga., June 8, 2021. Dr. Lyles speaks about the relationship between health, happiness and productivity to create a balanced lifestyle to form a well-rounded organization. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Toby Valadie) development, CPR training, establishing satellite communications, launching F-15s and opportunities to complete annual wing-level training.

“The wing, as a whole, does not get a chance to see each other often,” said 1st Lt. Santiago St. Clair, the 159 Fighter Wing Force Support Squadron Operations Officer. “During drill weekend, there is so much involved, we do not get the chance to intermingle – this is an opportunity to do so.”

St. Clair served as the assistant project officer this year. He said this is the first time in more than five years that the wing had the chance to participate in an event like this.

“The professional development and training opportunities we have put in place to develop our interpersonal and leadership abilities is of the utmost importance,” St. Clair said. “Being able to train together, build relationships and establish those connections to take them back with us makes for a better wing overall.”

Capt. Pierre Paul Castaing Jr., 159th Operations Group, and Staff Sgt. Tyron Kennedy, 159th Communications Flight, practice chest compressions during a Red Cross CPR class during the 159 Fighter Wing’s annual training in Savannah, Ga., June 7, 2021. Airmen complete annual training requirements to maintain mission readiness as hurricane season approaches. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Dane St. Pe)“These events were key in helping airmen build relationships while improving leadership and teamwork skills,” said Airman 1st Class Carli Johnston, a 159th Medical Group aerospace medical technician. She learned the importance of having people she could count on and who are willing to mentor her so she can, one day, fill that role.

“Usually, you only get to see your coworkers once a month at drill – this event gave me the opportunity to connect with people. It’s been a great experience,” Johnston said. “It’s really important to get to know each other, even on a personal level, to build trust with each other, because it’s essential for the mission.”

“Most of the Louisiana Air Guard falls under the 159 Fighter Wing – it is valuable for us to come to the ADC, because it adds diversification to theStaff Sgt. Dimitri L. Bush, F-15 crew chief, and Col. Jonathan Mumme, 159th Fighter Wing commander, review aircraft records prior to a training flight takeoff at the Air Dominance Center in Savannah, Ga, June 9, 2021. The relationship between the air crew and pilot is essential to maintaining mission readiness and to ensure the aircraft is mission ready. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Daniel Farrell) training environment,” said Brig. Gen. Shawn Coco, the Louisiana Air National Guard Assistant Adjutant General – Air. “The wing can leverage the unit cohesion and morale gained from AT to increase mission performance and build a healthier organization.”

The joint warfighting capabilities of the ADC, along with the working relationship between the Louisiana Air National Guard and Georgia Air National Guard, showcases the importance of multi-state interoperability.

Staff Sgt. Donavan Snowden, 159th Medical Group medic, treats a simulated foot injury on Staff. Sgt Angelique Romero, Louisiana Air National Guard Headquarters, during a mass causality exercise at the Air Dominance Center in Savannah, Ga., June 9, 2021. This exercise is part of the 2021 annual training for the 159th Fighter Wing to ensure mission readiness and trust between its Airmen to protect what matters. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Sonnier)   “Having a facility like the Air Dominance Center plays a key role in this year’s training,” Coco said. “As a fighter pilot, it is critical to change your flying and combat training space to increase adaptability for real-world missions.”

Maintaining readiness among Louisiana Air National Guardsmen to respond at any moment is critical to the 159 Fighter Wing success.

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