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By Airman 1st Class Landon Gunsauls
90th Missile Wing Public Affairs
Convoy Response Teams from across Air Force Global Strike Command's three missile wings participated in the inaugural Advanced Recapture Recovery Operational Warfighter (ARROW) exercise, travelling to Camp Guernsey Joint Training Center, Wyoming, Aug. 7-25, 2023.
In years previous, CRF teams participated in Road Warrior, an exercise much like ARROW but with different evaluation criteria and procedures. This year, one of the three CRF teams practiced and was evaluated under new standards each week, culminating in a final evaluation each Friday.
CRF teams are tasked with the protection of military assets during movements both to and from the expansive missile fields of Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, Malmstrom AFB, Montana, and F.E. Warren AFB, Wyoming, Teams work with a multitude of base agencies and local law enforcement teams to ensure the continuous safety and security of resources.
“Road Warrior was just an assessment for five days, cadre would sit in the vehicle annotating everything that they find, whether that be gunners not scanning a sector, or a truck commander is not doing what they need to do. Now it's more of an education piece that builds up to a final assessment on Friday,” said Staff Sgt. Michael Traster, 90th Ground Combat Training Squadron formal training instructor and ARROW second in command. “Throughout the week, the CRF is able to learn and educate themselves and they’re able to bounce ideas off each other. That way, when the time comes on Friday and the lights come on for that big evaluation, they're good to go and squared away.”
The change to a big evaluation for teams on the Friday at the end of their week has resulted in better evaluations on Fridays and improved understanding for Airmen on the ground while training commented many of the Cadre.
The change from Road Warrior to ARROW has come with its own set of changes, like train-pause-train, a program specifically developed to sharpen skills in the moment, rather than back at home station.
“In years past we got to come up here with our teams and use our weapons, but we would notice that we have some of the same problems year after year. That's really because when you throw a problem at a team and they attack it, but if you don't really change anything, you're going to kind of run into those same problems,” said Col. Justin Secrest, 90th Security Forces Group commander. “What we wanted to do with ARROW is to get teams to think more and to do the train, pause, train. Then we could fix some things along the way, instead of just waiting until the end and saying, here's what you messed up, now fix it. We felt like it was a more effective way to get our folks to do what they needed to do and to be proficient at their jobs.”
With springtime exercises like Nuclear Convoy Course, Airmen are given multiple opportunities to practice how they play away from their home station in an environment designed to mirror the missile fields. From Road Warrior’s beginnings to ARROW, these exercises help CRF teams from all three Missile Wings sharpen their skills to continue ensuring the safety and security of the nuclear enterprise.