03/04/13 — Seymour Johnson Air Force Base involved in ORI all week

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Seymour Johnson Air Force Base involved in ORI all week

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on March 4, 2013 1:46 PM

They have been honing their skills for months -- training for what Seymour Johnson Air Force Base officials have characterized as a no-fail mission designed to determine whether or not airmen stationed at the Goldsboro installation are ready for war.

And this week, they will put it all on the line, as they face an inspection team charged with grading the 4th Fighter Wing's ability to stand up to whatever simulated threat is thrown at them.

Jets will fly low and fast.

Loudspeaker announcements and sirens will be audible to those who live in the communities that surround the base.

The gates will be locked down Tuesday during an active shooter simulation.

Local airmen will participate, until March 11, in an Operational Readiness Inspection that officials hope will "validate that the airmen of the 4th Fighter Wing are prepared to deploy around the world and deliver dominant Strike Eagle air power any time, any place in defense of our great nation."

And they are confident that by week's end, they will have proven to the inspection team that they deserve their reputation as one of the premier fighter wings in the Air Force.

This is not the first time the 4th has faced an ORI.

In 2007, under the command of then-Col. Steve Kwast, the wing received an "excellent" on its ORI.

And in October 2010, Col. Patrick Doherty led his airmen to a "satisfactory."

The wing was deemed "combat ready" by inspectors in both cases.