353rd SOSS exercise mission readiness on Marine Corps Air Station Futenma

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Nick Emerick
  • 18th Wing Public Affairs
Members of the 353rd Special Operations Support Squadron here on Kadena Air Base took part in a joint base exercise with Marines from Marine Corps Air Station Futenma.

This two week exercise is being held in anticipation of upcoming deployments for the 353rd SOSS in the Indo-Asia-Pacific theater.

“We’re doing an in-house communications exercise, in preparation for our upcoming deployment, where we supply our command and control Wings with communication back and forth so leadership has the reach-back capabilities they need to support mission readiness,” said Capt. Ryan Barker, 353rd SOSS A6 deputy flight commander. “We have to make sure everyone is ready at a moment’s notice, be it for an exercise, crisis or a deployment.”

According to Senior Airman Joshua Tanner, 353rd SOSS radio frequencies transmissions systems technician, exercises such as these are important not only to support mission readiness, but also as a team building exercise that allows them to learn to work together as a cohesive unit.

“These types of exercises enhance mission readiness because we’re doing what we do out in the field with a bunch of different career fields here working together, being able to practice how we play,” said Tanner. “Every exercise, if it’s here at Futenma or back at Kadena, every environment has a different challenge and another learning opportunity.”

The 353rd SOSS deploys in support of the Special Operations Group, including the 320th Special Tactics Squadron and other flying missions. Field exercises allow for preparation for rapid deployment, which is a necessity in the Indo-Asia-Pacific area of responsibility, according to Airman 1st Class Louis Sciabarrasi.

Field exercises also allow the 353rd SOSS to adapt and overcome potential issues they could encounter in a deployed environment but in the safe space of a training environment. Overcoming these issues in training exercises allows for a reduction in delay in real deployed environments.

“It’s a nice change of pace, going to a more high speed environment with the special operations group, and it’s great being able to do these things in a joint base environment,” said Barker. “This is my first time doing an exercise like this, I’m excited, everyone is excited, but it should be good fun.”