Team Travis explodes into Exercise Golden Gateway

  • Published
  • By Nicholas Pilch
  • 60th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Team Travis Airmen validated Rapid Global Mobility and Agile Combat Employment capabilities during Exercise Golden Gateway Oct. 15 – 19, 2023.

Golden Gateway is a readiness exercise hosted by Travis AFB demonstrating total force integration from partner units to include the 349th Air Mobility Wing. The exercise showcased the installation’s role in enabling integration between active duty and reserve forces in support of mission requirements.

“We are preparing the 60th and the 349th for potential future conflict,” said 1st Lt. Alexandria Valdez, 60th Aerial Port Squadron logistics readiness officer and Exercise Golden Gateway planner. “To demonstrate our ability to generate, sustain and employ forces, this readiness exercise focused on the installation’s biggest lines of effort. This effort was pivotal in syncing each group and our reserve partners in the successful mass movement of our deploying personnel, patients, cargo and supplies.” 

Travis AFB is known as “The Gateway to the Pacific”, not only because of its geographical location, but also because the base is known for its innovative approach and unique integration of all four Air Mobility Command mission sets. For this exercise, over 160 Airmen went through a simulated deployment while our support units were able to rehearse processes for reception, staging, onward movement and integration operations. 

"The way we're preparing is by generating aircraft, people, equipment and supplies—as well as practicing our bed down procedures on the installation, our patient movement and making sure to get after multiple readiness objectives,” Valdez said. 

The exercise kicked off with preparations from the 349th Medical Group by building an En Route Patient Staging System (ERPSS) that could hold up to 50 patients.

“The ERPSS is solely an Air Force mission and Travis is a hub for receiving, caring, and distributing service members to either get them home or get them back to the fight.”  said Master Sgt. Audrey Roldan, 349th Aeromedical Staging Squadron aerospace medical technician.

During the exercise, the base tested the current patient movement procedures. The simulated patients were staged on a C-5M Super Galaxy, cared for by the 60th Aeromedical Evacuation, then moved to one of the three locations for treatment.

“After seeing the capabilities of the C-5M during this exercise, the airframe is really driving new accomplishments in the AE world,” said Maj. Alex Carter, 22nd Airlift Squadron C-5 pilot and Exercise Golden Gateway troop commander. 

Additionally, Airmen also posed as transient members. They stayed in a hangar throughout the week were a mix of nearly every job on base. 

“Seeing over 160 Airmen simulating a rapid deployment to stress the system and test all the agencies on base is a great real-world experience for everyone,” Carter said.  

To ensure Team Travis operates at the required readiness level, the exercise was evaluated by the Wing Inspection Team (WIT) and Air Mobility Command’s Inspector General staff. 

“Our WIT are an extension of the 60th AMW IG and are subject matter experts that belong to the various agencies on the installation,” Valdez said. “At every objective and every big rock of the exercise, we did have WIT on site as oversight and as evaluators for those respective lines of effort.” 

For every Air Force Specialty Code on base, involved in the exercise, there were WIT evaluators observing.   

“It's not about only capturing deficiencies, it's also about capturing the things that we're doing really well,” Valdez said. “It's both sides, the amazing things our airmen are capable of and the potential functions that we need to fine tune and pay a little more attention to in an effort to seamlessly accomplish our mission.”  

The exercise culminated on the fourth day of execution, preparing and strengthening our military for the era of strategic competition requires continuous practice. 

“I think it's important to practice these things because it's something we don't do every day, especially as Reservists,” Roldan said. “Big picture, we're here to care for patients and our brothers and sisters in arms. Continuing to practice how we're going to play is really important.” 

The vision at Travis AFB is to provide America’s finest mobility force, serving locally, engaging globally. Readiness exercises like these propel that vision.  

“The 60th Air Mobility Wing is really good at doing what we do, generating and moving forces,” Valdez said. “Embedding the 349th only made our team better.” 

Rapidly projecting American power, anytime…anywhere. TrUSt Travis, let’s go!