News Article View

Sunny with a chance of lightning

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Patrick Kelly, 724th Air Mobility Squadron (AMS) aircraft services technician, left, buddy checks Airman Jaden Boswell, 724th AMS freight service technician during exercise Nodal Lightning, at Aviano Air Base, Italy, May 19, 2021. Nodal Lightning is an exercise conducted by the 521st Air Mobility Operations Wing, which tests readiness in air mobility units around U.S. Air Forces in Europe. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas S. Keisler IV)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Patrick Kelly, 724th Air Mobility Squadron (AMS) aircraft services technician, left, buddy checks Airman Jaden Boswell, 724th AMS freight service technician during exercise Nodal Lightning, at Aviano Air Base, Italy, May 19, 2021. Nodal Lightning is an exercise conducted by the 521st Air Mobility Operations Wing, which tests readiness in air mobility units around U.S. Air Forces in Europe. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas S. Keisler IV)

U.S. Air Force 2nd Lt. Thomas Townsend, right, 724th Air Mobility Squadron (AMS) operations flight commander, provides first aid to U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Robert Latham, 724th AMS operations flight chief, during exercise Nodal Lightning at Aviano Air Base, Italy, May 18, 2021. Nodal Lightning is a readiness exercise for the 724th AMS to demonstrate how the team would operate in a contested environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas S. Keisler IV)

U.S. Air Force 2nd Lt. Thomas Townsend, right, 724th Air Mobility Squadron (AMS) operations flight commander, provides first aid to U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Robert Latham, 724th AMS operations flight chief, during exercise Nodal Lightning at Aviano Air Base, Italy, May 18, 2021. Nodal Lightning is a readiness exercise for the 724th AMS to demonstrate how the team would operate in a contested environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas S. Keisler IV)

A U.S. Airman with the 724th Air Mobility Squadron (AMS) fills an inflatable tent during Nodal Lightning at Aviano Air Base, Italy, May 18, 2021. Nodal Lightning is a readiness exercise that demonstrates how the 724th AMS would operate in a contested environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas S. Keisler IV)

A U.S. Airman with the 724th Air Mobility Squadron (AMS) fills an inflatable tent during Nodal Lightning at Aviano Air Base, Italy, May 18, 2021. Nodal Lightning is a readiness exercise that demonstrates how the 724th AMS would operate in a contested environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas S. Keisler IV)

U.S. Airmen from the 724th Air Mobility Squadron unload cargo during a Nodal Lightning exercise at Aviano Air Base, Italy, May 18, 2021. The exercise started with a simulated air attack followed by other attacks and injuries to teammates. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas S. Keisler IV)

U.S. Airmen from the 724th Air Mobility Squadron unload cargo during a Nodal Lightning exercise at Aviano Air Base, Italy, May 18, 2021. The exercise started with a simulated air attack followed by other attacks and injuries to teammates. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas S. Keisler IV)

U.S. Airmen with the 724th Air Mobility Squadron provide first aid and buddy care during Nodal Lightning exercise at Aviano Air Base, Italy, May 19, 2021. Nodal Lightning is conducted by the 521st Air Mobility Operations Wing, which tests readiness in air mobility units around U.S. Air Forces in Europe. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas S. Keisler IV)

U.S. Airmen with the 724th Air Mobility Squadron provide first aid and buddy care during Nodal Lightning exercise at Aviano Air Base, Italy, May 19, 2021. Nodal Lightning is conducted by the 521st Air Mobility Operations Wing, which tests readiness in air mobility units around U.S. Air Forces in Europe. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas S. Keisler IV)

U.S. Airmen with the 724th Air Mobility Squadron participate in a Nodal Lightning exercise at Aviano Air Base, Italy, May 19, 2021. Nodal Lightning is a simulated air and chemical attack followed by other scenarios that test the teams Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear response. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas S. Keisler IV)

U.S. Airmen with the 724th Air Mobility Squadron participate in a Nodal Lightning exercise at Aviano Air Base, Italy, May 19, 2021. Nodal Lightning is a simulated air and chemical attack followed by other scenarios that test the teams Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear response. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas S. Keisler IV)

U.S. Air Force Airman Jaden Boswell, 724th Air Mobility Squadron freight service technician, and personnel accountability report (PAR) team member during the Nodal Lightning exercise, reports over the radio at Aviano Air Base, Italy, May 18, 2021. PAR teams field data and provide information to leadership to develop strategies for defense.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas S. Keisler IV)

U.S. Air Force Airman Jaden Boswell, 724th Air Mobility Squadron freight service technician, and personnel accountability report (PAR) team member during the Nodal Lightning exercise, reports over the radio at Aviano Air Base, Italy, May 18, 2021. PAR teams field data and provide information to leadership to develop strategies for defense. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas S. Keisler IV)

U.S. Air Force Airman Jaden Boswell, 724th Air Mobility Squadron freight service technician, conducts Personnel Accountability Report (PAR) checks during Nodal Lightning at Aviano Air Base, Italy, May 19, 2021. Boswell was one of two PAR teams during exercise Nodal Lightning. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas S. Keisler IV)

U.S. Air Force Airman Jaden Boswell, 724th Air Mobility Squadron freight service technician, conducts Personnel Accountability Report (PAR) checks during Nodal Lightning at Aviano Air Base, Italy, May 19, 2021. Boswell was one of two PAR teams during exercise Nodal Lightning. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas S. Keisler IV)

U.S. Airmen with the 724th Air Mobility Squadron prepare for a Personnel Accountability Report (PAR) check during exercise Nodal Lightning at Aviano Air Base, Italy, May 19, 2021. Nodal Lightning is a week-long readiness exercise for air mobility units around U.S. Air Forces in Europe. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas S. Keisler IV)

U.S. Airmen with the 724th Air Mobility Squadron prepare for a Personnel Accountability Report (PAR) check during exercise Nodal Lightning at Aviano Air Base, Italy, May 19, 2021. Nodal Lightning is a week-long readiness exercise for air mobility units around U.S. Air Forces in Europe. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas S. Keisler IV)

AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy --

The 724th Air Mobility Squadron, an Air Mobility Command tenant unit at Aviano Air Base, participated in exercise Nodal Lightning May 17-21, 2021. Nodal Lightning is a readiness exercise conducted by the 521st Air Mobility Operations Wing based out of Ramstein Air Base, Germany.


This week-long exercise simulating an air and chemical attack on the 724th AMS’s warehouse and temporary operations site. In response to the attack, the team set up temporary operations on the flight line and provided medical assistance to teammates who had simulated injuries.
 

“The purpose of [Nodal Lightning] is to test our capabilities if we are in a degraded environment or our operations building is destroyed during an attack,” said Tech. Sgt. Eduardo Mora, 724th AMS operations flight supervisor. “We move to a remote location and still function properly and efficiently.”


U.S. Air Forces in Europe air mobility units take part in Nodal Lightning biannually, testing their ability to operate in a contested environment.


“The exercise is important because these scenarios don’t play out too often,” said Senior Airman Justin McCallister, 724th AMS air freight specialist. “For me it was a good learning experience to actually see post attach reconnaissancet team sweeps and react to certain injections because I haven’t seen them in so long. It was a good job on the 724th AMS for getting us ready for this and I think we will succeed at future exercises now.”


The in-depth exercise featured air attacks with complications injected throughout, such as an air attack which mandated evacuation of the entire warehouse. Simulated injuries were a part of the scenario, requiring personnel to provide proper first aid while also remaining safe and secure.


While injured personnel were recovered and temporary operations were set up, the team handled any inject that came their way. With tents and undamaged equipment, the team continued the mission successfully.

Mora said it was incredible to see the player vs the evaluator side of the exercise, and how the evolution of the scenario affected how the team operated.


“I look forward to the next exercise,” said McCallister. “Any chance to actually get out in the elements - rain, sleet, or shine - I think we all look forward to. It really takes us out of the work environment we’re used to, so getting those new scenarios really tests our readiness.”