Commandos strive for outstanding

Senior Airmen Jarrod Snesko, 16th CMS, checks the gauges on AC-130U

Senior Airmen Jarrod Snesko, 16th CMS, checks the gauges on AC-130U

(Left) Airmen 1st Class Jeremy Macomber and Senior Airman Matthew Mendiola, 16th Component Maintenance Squadron, inspect a fuel tank from one of the AC-130U Gunship as part of the operational readiness inspection.

(Left) Airmen 1st Class Jeremy Macomber and Senior Airman Matthew Mendiola, 16th Component Maintenance Squadron, inspect a fuel tank from one of the AC-130U Gunship as part of the operational readiness inspection.

Senior Airman Steven Ogden, a 15th AMU guidance control specialist, checks the fuel quantity gauges on an MC-130H Combat Talon II as part of the ORI.

Senior Airman Steven Ogden, a 15th AMU guidance control specialist, checks the fuel quantity gauges on an MC-130H Combat Talon II as part of the ORI.

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla -- After months of preparation and more than five exercises, Hurlburt Field kicked off the highly anticipated operational readiness inspection early Monday morning.

During the two-phase inspection, the inspector general team from Air Force Special Operations Command will observe and record the 16th Special Operations Wing's ability to process passengers and cargo, generate aircraft and operate from a forward location.

"It's been really stressful, but it's a relief that's it's started and it'll soon be over," said Staff Sgt. Latisha Barnette, 16th Medical Operations Squadron.

"Our wing is already engaged in combat operations in the central command area of responsibility," said 16th SOW Vice Commander Col. Paul Harmon. "The goal is training to fight and win."

"We'll demonstrate to the IG team in that America's Air Commandos are prepared to deploy and fight 'any time, any place."

"I think the ORI will benefit our base because it will expose our vulnerabilities and then we can work on them," said Senior Airman Alexis Padilla, 16th Medical Support Squadron.

(Editor's note: Master Sgt. Stuart Camp contributed to this article.)