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GCC members attend combat-ready exercise

Col. Thom Pemberton, 434th Air Refueling Wing commander, goes over the finer points of cooking an MRE to Phil and Joan Lake during a Grissom Community Council outing Aug. 20, 2021. The GCC members visited the base, watched as unit members responded to a wartime scenario before dining at Chocks. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jeremy Blocker)

Col. Thom Pemberton, 434th Air Refueling Wing commander, goes over the finer points of cooking an MRE to Phil and Joan Lake during a Grissom Community Council outing Aug. 20, 2021. The GCC members visited the base, watched as unit members responded to a wartime scenario before dining at Chocks. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jeremy Blocker)

GRISSOM AIR RESERVE BASE, Ind. --

Provide air refueling and combat ready forces – that’s the 434th ARW mission, and visitors got an opportunity to see these combat ready forces in action recently.

The Grissom Community Council witnessed Airmen practicing combat skills during an exercise Aug. 20, 2021.

The GCC was given a tour of the deployment training area and were able to see Airmen responding to different deployment scenarios.

These scenarios included demonstrations showing the proper way to put on a gas mask and how to aid a wounded Airman.

The GCC is a civilian, nonprofit organization whose goal is to support the men and women of Grissom Air Reserve Base. 

They hold special events throughout the year to help increase awareness and understanding of the base's mission and positive impact on the local area.

Some members of the council are veterans but there are members with no military experience who join to show support for the military.

“Some of us have gone through something similar to this stuff but we didn’t know how Grissom would handle it,” said Grover Bishop, GCC president. “We wanted to see what they would do in those kinds of situations.”

Bishop says that he hopes events like this attract people to join and reach out around the local area.

“We’ve had the fire department, military police and explosive ordnance team at Grissom show us demonstrations of rescue operations,” Bishop said. “These outings are an opportunity for new members to see what they do. This shows how Grissom is still alive and helping us out.”

During the event, members of the GCC got to experience preparing and eating a meal ready-to-eat.

“I was a bit surprised about the MREs,” said David Morrical, GCC member. “I don’t think I will ever get used to eating them but I had a great time at the event!”

Morrical, along with other GCC members, has his reasons why he shows his support for Grissom.

“I have an interest in what goes on in the military,” Morrical said. “I served in the military in the medical corps. My father and uncle served too so I have always had an interest in the military. I appreciate the opportunity that the community and Grissom has given me to be a part of this.”

The 434th ARW is the largest KC-135R Stratotanker unit in the Air Force Reserve Command. The Citizen Airmen from the Hoosier Wing routinely deploy around the world in support of the Air Force mission.

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