11/7/2006 - WASHINGTON (AFPN) -- In early November, Headquarters Air Force personnel will participate in exercise Blue Raven, another in a series of continuity-of-operations exercises that tests the capability of HAF personnel to continue mission essential functions during a crisis.
"Sept. 11, 2001 reinforced the need to be prepared for any contingency," said Lt. Col. Leiahola Jones, deputy director of the Air Force continuity-of-operations office. "We train for any eventuality, from a natural disaster to a terrorist attack. The Blue Raven exercise program provides the mechanism to evaluate that training and allows personnel to practice using scenarios that are as realistic as possible."
In addition to the Blue Raven program, the continuity-of-operations office prepares HAF personnel throughout the National Capital Region with monthly orientations, refresher training and frequent communications drills.
"HAF personnel, like Air Force personnel at bases around the world, must understand their role in a crisis and must be able to continue operations no matter how serious the event," Colonel Jones said. "Continuous practice and training is imperative to maintaining the highest readiness standards."
Air Force senior leaders have been crucial to the success of the program, Colonel Jones said .
"We have been fortunate that Air Force senior leaders have been directly involved in the Blue Raven exercise series and in our training efforts," she said. "It is through their support that our program has continued to build since its inception in 1999, and why we are confident today that HAF can continue to meet its mission requirements despite a disruption to normal operations."
Colonel Jones said HAF support to Air Force and Department of Defense senior leaders is critical, especially in a crisis. The Blue Raven exercise, and exercises similar to it, are an important part of making sure that support will always be there.
"We hope HAF personnel at all levels will take advantage of the opportunity to participate in a continuity-of-operations training event as they are vital to making sure we are always ready," Colonel Jones said.