713th Combat Operations Squadron Participates in Pacific Sentry Exercise

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Nicole Gudikunst
  • 713th Combat Operations Squadron
Airmen from the 713th Combat Operations Squadron at Beale AFB, California and its Detachment at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii recently supported Pacific Sentry 15-3, the largest 2015 Command and Control exercise in the U.S. Pacific Command, which officially ended on Aug. 21, 2015. 

The 713th COS integrated 48 personnel at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam into Pacific Air Forces Headquarters as part of the Air Force Forces staff, as well as the 613th Air Operations Center, to exercise the command and control needed to fight a war.

Pacific Sentry included participants from the U.S. Air Force, Air National Guard, U.S. Air Force Reserves, and other Department of Defense counterparts. The exercise was significant in validating the unit's Reception, Staging, Onward Movement, and Integration processes and procedures.

"We were set to arrive after the fight had already kicked-off," said Master Sgt. Marcus Moore, 713th COS unit deployment manager. "Mimicking what could happen during a real-world crisis, with the staff already in 24-hour operations, we needed to complete RSO&I quickly and get to work."

Headquarters staffs rely on augmentation to sustain the long-term fight, explained Col. Thomas McNamara, 713th COS commander.

"Pacific Sentry was instrumental in exercising the ability of our unit to move quickly in place and support the PACAF battle rhythm, which allowed the AFFOR staff to run smoothly and be efficient," said McNamara.

The 713th COS is the only U.S. Air Force Reserve unit designated to support the AFFOR mission role.  The unit has 77 positions at Beale AFB, California and 23 positions at their Detachment, co-located with the PACAF Headquarters at Joint Base, Pearl Harbor-Hickam. The squadron is organized into Special Staff and Directorates, similar to PACAF, to allow members to integrate quickly with their active duty counterparts.

According to Col. Keith Schultz, 713th Detachment commander, participating in PACOM exercises epitomizes how the Reserves support the U.S. pivot to the Pacific.
 
"The 713th COS will continually train to perform command and control seamlessly across the range of military options for the Commander, Air Force Forces," said Shultz. "In today's ever shrinking budget, we are able to provide experienced continuity across the spectrum of operations utilizing Citizen Airmen at overall reduced costs."