HomeMediaArticle Display

Alaska Air National Guardsmen show readiness to deploy worldwide

Alaska Air National Guardsmen participate in Polar Force 2019.

Tech. Sgt. Daniel Werth, assistant noncommissioned officer in charge of passenger service with the Alaska Air National Guard’s 176th Logistics Readiness Squadron, guides a forklift toward a scale used for weighing cargo as part of the Polar Force 19 exercise on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, April 2, 2019. Polar Force 19 was a readiness exercise designed to test the 176th Wing’s ability to rapidly assemble and deploy an overwhelming combat force anywhere within the Pacific Theater of operations. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Louis Velasco)

Alaska Air National Guardsmen participate in Polar Force 2019.

Tech. Sgt. Karen Peterson, noncommissioned officer in charge of command support staff with the Alaska Air National Guard’s 176th Logistics Readiness Squadron, checks the paperwork of a deployer as part of the Polar Force 19 exercise on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, April 2, 2019. Polar Force 19 was a readiness exercise designed to test the 176th Wing’s ability to rapidly assemble and deploy an overwhelming combat force anywhere within the Pacific Theater of operations. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Louis Velasco)

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska --

The 176th Wing, one of the nation’s largest and busiest Air National Guard wings, kicked off its participation in Polar Force 19 April 2, a base-wide exercise designed to test mission readiness.

Deploying a military force is a complex operation — many moving parts have to come together seamlessly at the same time,” said Brig. Gen. Darrin Slaten, the 176th Wing’s commander. “That’s why these types of exercises are so valuable: They help ensure that the Alaska Air National Guard can deploy, on very short notice, a powerful force capable of delivering overwhelming combat power in support of U.S. interests anywhere in the Pacific theater.”

The wing implemented Polar Force in two phases.

During Phase 1, the wing practiced preparing and deploying its members to a simulated hostile environment. The “deployers” assembled their gear and ran through a series of checks and briefings to prepare them for their upcoming assignments. Their equipment was bundled on pallets and loaded on planes, providing practice for loadmasters and aircrew.

In Phase 2, the wing tested it ability to operate and execute missions within a hostile deployed environment. Wearing helmets, chemical-protection suits and other combat gear, the wing’s men and women evaluated their own ability to successfully execute missions while under attack.

The wing’s participation in Polar Force 19 ended April 5.

Once the exercise has concluded,” Slaten said, “We will take everything we’ve learned, figure out where our strengths and weaknesses are, and use that information to build an even stronger force.

The citizen-Airmen of the Alaska Air National Guard are Alaskans — we live here,” Slaten added. “It’s inspiring to see these highly trained, highly motivated men and women come together as a team to ensure that we are ready to respond when our nation calls.”

USAF Comments Policy
If you wish to comment, use the text box below. AF reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

This is a moderated forum. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain abusive or vulgar language, spam, hate speech, personal attacks, violate EEO policy, are offensive to other or similar content. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly "off topic", promote services or products, infringe copyright protected material, or contain any links that don't contribute to the discussion. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted. The AF and the AF alone will make a determination as to which comments will be posted. Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other non-governmental organizations or individuals that remain on the site are provided solely for the information of individuals using this page. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of the AF, DoD, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying AF endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

Any comments that report criminal activity including: suicidal behaviour or sexual assault will be reported to appropriate authorities including OSI. This forum is not:

  • This forum is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact OSI or your local police agency.
  • Do not submit unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries to this forum. This site is not to be used for contracting or commercial business.
  • This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

AF does not guarantee or warrant that any information posted by individuals on this forum is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. AF may not be able to verify, does not warrant or guarantee, and assumes no liability for anything posted on this website by any other person. AF does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those websites that may be reached through links on our website.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to the public affairs through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Reporter questions will not be posted. We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day.

For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain "on-topic." This means that comments will be posted only as it relates to the topic that is being discussed within the blog post. The views expressed on the site by non-federal commentators do not necessarily reflect the official views of the AF or the Federal Government.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, DoD ID number, OSI Case number, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, that comment may or may not be posted on the page. If your comment is posted, your name will not be redacted or removed. In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, DoD ID numbers, OSI case numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. The default for the posting of comments is "anonymous", but if you opt not to, any information, including your login name, may be displayed on our site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.