Up & Coming Weekly

October 31, 2023

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 7 of 24

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM November 1 - 7, 2023 UCW 7 Seven teams of combat weather Air- men competed in under Challenge 2023 at Fort Liberty Oct. 15-17. under Challenge is an annual competition between combat weather Airmen which tests their core weather competencies and battlefield skills to analyze readiness and share best practices throughout the career field. Units from the 5th Combat Weather Group, 1st Combat Weather Squad- ron, 7th Combat Weather Squadron, 607th CWS and 23d Special Opera- tions Weather Squadron competed in the event. "Getting together with other combat weather squadrons, learning from them and sharing best practices is critically important," said Lt. Col. Tyler West, 7th Combat Weather Squadron commander headquartered in Wies- baden, Germany. "Overall, it's going to contribute to more combat-ready forces, starting with the teams that competed here and then spreading across the entire community as com- petitors take the capabilities and drive gained here back to their units." During the challenge, competitors manually forecasted weather, oper- ated tactical weather sensing equip- ment, provided weather impacts in a simulated chemical attack, completed weather knowledge tests, reacted to simulated enemy small arms and explosives attacks, performed base defense, conducted tactical combat casualty care, navigated through forests, conducted a 10-kilometer weighted ruck and completed a course of fire after exercising in gas masks and body armor. "is is a way for them to really improve their readiness as it requires them to complete these key tasks while under high pressure. We don't want the first time they do these tasks under that pressure to be when they're in combat," said West. "We never know exactly when we're going to be called upon, so we need everyone to be ready at all times." Evaluators aimed to create a high- pressure environment to recreate stressors these Airmen may experi- ence in operational scenarios. "Having seen these Airmen in the fight today, and the sheer willpower and warrior spirit these Airmen dis- played was absolutely phenomenal," said Col. Patrick Williams, Headquar- ters Air Force Director of Weather. "It really shows that these guys can do the mission, and I'm proud to call these Airmen warriors." roughout the exercise, senior leaders conducted career field discus- sions to strategize how to best op- erationalize weather forces to create battlefield advantages. "We looked at how we gain oppor- tunities and shape the battlespace to create opportunities for our forces," Williams said. "Weather operators can forecast the weather to create preci- sion out of chaos, and they soften the battlespace for superiority of all sorts." Tech. Sgt. Brandon Hutchinson, Staff Sgt. Hunter Haggerty and Staff Sgt. Nicholas Schlabach from the 23rd SOWS took first place in the compe- tition and will receive an Air Force Achievement Medal for their accom- plishment. "It's really an honor for us to come here to Fort Liberty and get to participate with all the combat weather teams across the Air Force and showcase our skills and train- ing," Schlabach said. "We have people coming from around the world here to compete against each other, it really showcases that all our units are train- ing toward the accomplishment of being a combat-ready Airman." Combat Weather Airmen showcase battlefield skills by 1st. Lt. CHRISTIAN LITTLE, 93rd Air Ground Operations Wing NEWS U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Paul Wyckoff, 18th Combat Weather Squadron staff weather of- ficer, walks through a cloud of smoke during the under Challenge 2023 at Fort Liberty. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Spencer Slocum, Courtesy of DVIDS) CHRISTIAN LITTLE, 93rd Air Ground Operations Wing. COMMENTS? Editor@ upandcomingweekly.com. 910-484-6200. SELLING A BUSINESS? BUYING A BUSINESS? Business Sales • Mergers & Acquisitions • Franchises akelsey@tworld.com Ashley Kelsey (910) 302-6447 www.transworldeast.com VOLUME 14 | ISSUE 10 OCTOBER | 2020 Inspiring, educating, empowering and celebrating women in our community M A G A Z I N E Fayetteville Fall Flavors for Your Table Help for Women's Health Carve and Craft Pumpkin Art More inside: VOLUME 14 | ISSUE 9 SEPTEMBER | 2020 Inspiring, educating, empowering and celebrating women in our community M A G A Z I N E Help for Homeschooling Living Large in Small Spaces RV Homes and She Sheds Homeward Bound The Flight of the Monarch Mo's Heroes Founder ShaDonna McPhaul Helping Homeless Vets More inside: WELCOME HOME! VOLUME 14 | ISSUE 11 NOVEMBER | 2020 Inspiring, educating, empowering and celebrating women in our community M A G A Z I N E Easy Entertaining with Friends and Family Amplifying Thanks with a Grateful Attitude Destressing the Holidays Soup's On: Simple Suppers More inside: Simple Pleasures Simple Pleasures BY, FOR & ABOUT Inspiring, educating, empowering and celebrating women in our community

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