GRAND FORKS AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. --
Airmen with the 319th Air Base Wing participated in exercise Summer Viking 19-01, a four-day exercise, May 20-23, 2019, at the Air National Guard Base in Fargo, North Dakota.
The exercise focused on increased readiness capabilities; testing participants on their self-aid buddy care, chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high-yield explosives training, and general procedural knowledge in a contested area.
Shawn Leach, 319th Air Base Wing inspection team manager, explained the importance of having readiness exercises like Summer Viking.
“It is important for everyone to know how to operate not only in a contested base, but at any type of base,” He began. “It tests the readiness of personnel and procedures, as well as ability to deploy in a location where we wouldn’t have all the necessities.”
Throughout the week participants accomplished and effectively responded to a simulated deployment, breach in base security, and chemical and biological contamination.
Airman 1st Class Devin Riggs, 319th Logistics Readiness Squadron ground transportation apprentice, was one of nearly 100 participants in the readiness exercise. He expressed why Summer Viking was so helpful especially to someone like him, having never deployed before.
“It helps us get an idea of what it might actually be like in a deployed location,” he said. “Everything we did during this exercise applies to real life, which is why I find it helpful.”
The overall exercise was a successful test of Grand Forks Air Force Base’s readiness capabilities, which serve as one of the top priorities across the U.S. Air Force, according to General Stephen Wilson, Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force.
"Winning in future high-end conflicts depends on which side can command and control forces in a degraded and contested environment, while denying the enemy the ability to do the same,” Wilson stated.