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Aviano Airmen put operations support to test

by Airman 1st Class Justin Goodrich
Detachment 8, Air Force News Agency


3/13/2007 - AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy (AFNEWS)  -- A recent inspection here is showing how Airmen are prepared to support operations during the war on terrorism.

NATO exercise evaluators travel across Europe to assess how well a country's military is able to handle certain scenarios they may face during war time. More than 100 NATO inspectors are here to inspect 600 Airmen participating in a tactical evaluation. Inspectors came from countries around the world to include the United Kingdom, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Turkey and the United States.

Aviano will support NATO during the next NATO response cycle starting in June. NATO tactical evaluators came to examine Aviano Airmen's warfighting capabilities.

"This will measure our capability to go to war; it is to prepare us for what our folks are already doing in their deployed status all around the world," said Col. Kimberley Toney, the 31st Mission Support Group commander.

Aviano Airmen will face a variety of exercises designed to challenge them mentally and physically.

"Through a lot of training, effort and hard work ... we are now not only prepared to show the exercise evaluators what we have, we are more prepared to go to war and do what we're doing," Colonel Toney said.

The base plays an important role coordinating with NATO forces, and Aviano Airmen hope to support any mission they are called upon to perform.

"Our role is to launch these jets and get them to the fight," Colonel Toney said. "Between the support team, the maintenance team, and the flyers, we will put bombs on target."



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