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NEWS | Nov. 17, 2020

Reservists hone skills for future missions

By Senior Airman Will Brugge 315th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Airmen from Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina are taking part in the Palmetto Challenge exercise this week at various locations throughout the state.

Both active and reserve units will participate in the exercise designed to simulate a real-world mission in preparation for possible operations in a deployed environment.

“We are doing this exercise to better our posture for future missions,” said Tech. Sgt. Kelly Corvino, a command and control operations controller with the 315th Contingency Response Flight here. “We have reservists who are going downrange, so we need to make sure they are prepared for what they could encounter in a real-world situation.”

Corvino, who also works as a civilian in the command post with the 628th Airlift Wing, also spoke on the importance of active duty and reservists working together during exercises to help with cohesiveness for future possible missions.

The Palmetto Challenge exercise involves multiple units on both the reserve side and the active duty side including, but not limited to, aerial port squadrons, aeromedical evacuation squadrons, maintenance squadrons, flying squadrons, and contingency response flights.

“When it comes down to it, we are doing this exercise to make sure everything is seamless,” said Staff Sgt. Tiffany Carey, a load planner with the 81st Aerial Port Squadron. “Everything from in-processing, passenger check-in, making sure cargo is loaded correctly on the plane, is going to be done to ensure that our processes exceed the standards we are given.”

Carey went on to say that she loved these types of exercises because reservists don’t always get the opportunity to do their specific job while away from training.

“When we do exercises like this, it puts us in a really good headspace and helps ease our nerves,” Carey added. “It’s pivotal to get the hands-on training with operational tempo for success in the field.”

Corvino said exercises like Palmetto Challenge are crucial training tools in preparation for future missions, as well as assurance that systems and processes are flawless prior to going downrange