Panther Lightning keeps Team Buckley mission-ready
By Airman 1st Class Emily E. Amyotte, 460th Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 26, 2015
BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- The 460th Space Wing participated in the exercise Panther Lightning March 23-26 on Buckley Air Force Base, Colo.
Panther Lightning is Buckley AFB's version of the Strategic Command exercise, Global Lightning, which is an Air Force-wide exercise that focuses on all combatant commands and their missions. The 460th Space Wing took their mascot, the panther, and decided to name their portion of the exercise Panther Lightning.
"Although the primary mission of the 460th Space Wing is missile warning, the men and women of the wing are also responsible for a host of contingency and wartime missions," said Col. Rose Jourdan, 460th Mission Support Group commander. "We need to exercise those skill sets regularly so that they don't atrophy."
The importance of Panther Lightning was to prepare Team Buckley for extreme situations that all military personnel should be ready for.
"Panther Lightning allowed us to flex our wartime muscles to strengthen them, should the need arise in garrison or in the deployed environment," Jourdan added.
Unlike many other exercises that Team Buckley participates in, this was a joint community exercise with outside civilian components also playing a role.
The Rural Metro Ambulance Service arrived during the second day of the exercise to simulate a real-world interaction between Buckley AFB and surrounding medical options. The two ambulances transported the members who were injured in a simulated explosion at the wing headquarters building.
"Their contribution was historic as it was the first exercise allowing Buckley AFB to transport exercise patients to civilian hospitals," said Pamela Worrell, 460th Inspectors General inspections director. "It also enabled the 460th Medical Group and base fire department to test the emergency medical technician patient tracking system for the first time."
"The use of real players from off-base helped develop familiarity with those agencies, enhances the training for all participants, and provides a level of realism to operations that is invaluable if real world circumstances ever arise," she added.
This exercise included not only the community, but members from all over Buckley AFB. From the fire department, to the medical group to the operation group, all units within the 460th Space Wing participated in the exercise.
"The goal of this Panther Lightning exercise was to hone our emergency response and wartime capabilities and I believe there was a high level of positive learning that was accomplished to that end," Jourdan said.