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Phase II ORE cancelled; next exercise in May

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. -- The operational readiness exercise scheduled for today through Thursday was cancelled March 17.

This was to be the third ORE in preparation for the operational readiness inspection scheduled for July.

“My impression, and the impression of our wing leadership, is that we’re where we need to be with respect to ORI preparation,” said Col. Jeffry Smith, 28th Bomb Wing commander. “Our processes are in place, our attack card is well drawn and our plan for success in July is solid.”

Flying and maintenance operations will continue at “higher than normal rates” until Thursday, according to Lt. Col. Lucien Grise, 28th BW plans and programs chief.

OREs scheduled for May and June are still planned.

Colonel Grise said the cancellation of this exercise will not change the direction toward the July ORI.

“The May ORE will be our first chance to operate as a complete wing,” he said, noting both base flying squadrons will practice in the same exercise for the first time in almost a year.

Colonel Grise said in the interim, base personnel should continue to familiarize themselves with the Airman’s Manual and ensure responsibilities such as gas mask fit tests are up to date.

“This break should give everyone in the wing time to review the new base exercise plan and become familiar with it,” he said.

Colonel Smith gave the wing a vote of confidence.

“I’m confident that with a last minute push through the May and June OREs, we’ll enjoy tremendous success in July,” he said.