A KC-46A Pegasus from the 931st Air Refueling Wing at McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas, sits on the flight line at Travis Air Force Base, California, prior to a refueling mission supporting Exercise Nexus Dawn, April 26, 2021. The Pegasus is the Air Force’s newest air refueling tanker, and is expected to join the Team Travis inventory in 2023. (U.S. Air Force photo by Dennis Santarinala)
1 / 10 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A KC-46A Pegasus from the 931st Air Refueling Wing at McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas, sits on the flight line at Travis Air Force Base, California, prior to a refueling mission supporting Exercise Nexus Dawn, April 26, 2021. The Pegasus is the Air Force’s newest air refueling tanker, and is expected to join the Team Travis inventory in 2023. (U.S. Air Force photo by Dennis Santarinala) (Photo Credit: Dennis Santarinala) VIEW ORIGINAL
A Litter Station Augmentation Set sits on the flight line at Travis Air Force Base, California, prior to being loaded on to a C-17 Globemaster III during Exercise Nexus Dawn on April 26, 2021. The LSAS is critical to successfully executing emergency missions if additional stanchions and litters are needed by Air Force Reserve aeromedical evacuation teams. Exercise Nexus Dawn presents realistic and challenging combat readiness scenarios in which Reserve Citizen Airmen are tested and evaluated at how well they can execute their mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Dennis Santarinala)
2 / 10 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A Litter Station Augmentation Set sits on the flight line at Travis Air Force Base, California, prior to being loaded on to a C-17 Globemaster III during Exercise Nexus Dawn on April 26, 2021. The LSAS is critical to successfully executing emergency missions if additional stanchions and litters are needed by Air Force Reserve aeromedical evacuation teams. Exercise Nexus Dawn presents realistic and challenging combat readiness scenarios in which Reserve Citizen Airmen are tested and evaluated at how well they can execute their mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Dennis Santarinala) (Photo Credit: Dennis Santarinala) VIEW ORIGINAL
An F-15C Eagle from the 144th Fighter Wing prepares to receive fuel from a 349th Air Mobility Wing KC-10 Extender, during Exercise Nexus Dawn in California, on April 26, 2021. Through exercises like Nexus Dawn, Reserve Citizen Airmen hone their readiness and effectiveness so they can support the nation with air power anytime, anywhere. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Brady Penn)
3 / 10 Show Caption + Hide Caption – An F-15C Eagle from the 144th Fighter Wing prepares to receive fuel from a 349th Air Mobility Wing KC-10 Extender, during Exercise Nexus Dawn in California, on April 26, 2021. Through exercises like Nexus Dawn, Reserve Citizen Airmen hone their readiness and effectiveness so they can support the nation with air power anytime, anywhere. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Brady Penn) (Photo Credit: Airman 1st Class Brady Penn) VIEW ORIGINAL
Senior Master Sgt. Christine Palmer, 349th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, briefs Exercise Nexus Dawn participants prior to an aeromedical evacuation evaluation scenario on April 27, 2021 at Travis Air Force Base, California. (U.S. Air Force photo by Dennis Santarinala)
4 / 10 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Senior Master Sgt. Christine Palmer, 349th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, briefs Exercise Nexus Dawn participants prior to an aeromedical evacuation evaluation scenario on April 27, 2021 at Travis Air Force Base, California. (U.S. Air Force photo by Dennis Santarinala) (Photo Credit: Dennis Santarinala) VIEW ORIGINAL
Maj. Kenneth Strunk, 446th Airlift Wing, receives patient manifest updates from Capt. Christine Newby, 349th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, prior to departing Travis Air Force Base, California, aboard a C-17 Globemaster III on April 27, 2021. Both are participating in Exercise Nexus Dawn, which presents realistic and challenging combat readiness scenarios in which Reserve Citizen Airmen are tested and evaluated at how well they can execute their mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Dennis Santarinala)
5 / 10 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Maj. Kenneth Strunk, 446th Airlift Wing, receives patient manifest updates from Capt. Christine Newby, 349th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, prior to departing Travis Air Force Base, California, aboard a C-17 Globemaster III on April 27, 2021. Both are participating in Exercise Nexus Dawn, which presents realistic and challenging combat readiness scenarios in which Reserve Citizen Airmen are tested and evaluated at how well they can execute their mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Dennis Santarinala) (Photo Credit: Dennis Santarinala) VIEW ORIGINAL
Reserve Airmen recieve a briefing from Master Sgt. Gary Sumpter in preparation for Exercise Nexus Reach at March Air Reserve Base in California on April 26,2021. NEXUS DAWN is a readiness exercise designed to test the ability of certain Air Force Reserve units to generate, employ and sustain air operations in a simulated combat environment. Missions included in NEXUS DAWN include aeromedical evacuation, airlift for cargo and personnel, aerial refueling, deployment processing, aerial port operations, and command and control. Reserve Citizen Airmen from Travis, Beale, March, McChord, and McConnell Air Force Bases will participate in the exercise, as well as Air National Guardsmen from Fresno, Calif. (U.S. Air Force Reserve photo by Staff Sergeant Ryan Green)
6 / 10 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Reserve Airmen recieve a briefing from Master Sgt. Gary Sumpter in preparation for Exercise Nexus Reach at March Air Reserve Base in California on April 26,2021. NEXUS DAWN is a readiness exercise designed to test the ability of certain Air Force Reserve units to generate, employ and sustain air operations in a simulated combat environment. Missions included in NEXUS DAWN include aeromedical evacuation, airlift for cargo and personnel, aerial refueling, deployment processing, aerial port operations, and command and control. Reserve Citizen Airmen from Travis, Beale, March, McChord, and McConnell Air Force Bases will participate in the exercise, as well as Air National Guardsmen from Fresno, Calif. (U.S. Air Force Reserve photo by Staff Sergeant Ryan Green) (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Ryan Green) VIEW ORIGINAL
A C-17 Globemaster III from the 446th Airlift Wing prepares to receive fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker from the 940th Air Refueling Wing during Exercise Nexus Dawn, in California on April 27, 2021. Through exercises like Nexus Dawn, Reserve Citizen Airmen hone their readiness and effectiveness so they can support the nation with air power anytime, anywhere. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Brady Penn)
7 / 10 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A C-17 Globemaster III from the 446th Airlift Wing prepares to receive fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker from the 940th Air Refueling Wing during Exercise Nexus Dawn, in California on April 27, 2021. Through exercises like Nexus Dawn, Reserve Citizen Airmen hone their readiness and effectiveness so they can support the nation with air power anytime, anywhere. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Brady Penn) (Photo Credit: Airman 1st Class Brady Penn) VIEW ORIGINAL
Maj. Rebecca Sullivan a a KC-10  Extender pilot from the 349th Air Mobility Wing prepares to deliver fuel to F-15's during Exercise Nexus Dawn in California, on April 26, 2021. Through exercises like Nexus Dawn, Reserve Citizen Airmen hone their readiness and effectiveness so they can support the nation with air power anytime, anywhere. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Brady Penn)
8 / 10 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Maj. Rebecca Sullivan a a KC-10 Extender pilot from the 349th Air Mobility Wing prepares to deliver fuel to F-15's during Exercise Nexus Dawn in California, on April 26, 2021. Through exercises like Nexus Dawn, Reserve Citizen Airmen hone their readiness and effectiveness so they can support the nation with air power anytime, anywhere. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Brady Penn) (Photo Credit: Airman 1st Class Brady Penn) VIEW ORIGINAL
Airmen of the 446th Airlift Wing prepare their equipment during Exercise Nexus Dawn at Travis Air Force Base, California, on April 27, 2021. Through exercises like Nexus Dawn, Reserve Citizen Airmen hone their readiness and effectiveness so they can support the nation with air power anytime, anywhere. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Brady Penn)
9 / 10 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Airmen of the 446th Airlift Wing prepare their equipment during Exercise Nexus Dawn at Travis Air Force Base, California, on April 27, 2021. Through exercises like Nexus Dawn, Reserve Citizen Airmen hone their readiness and effectiveness so they can support the nation with air power anytime, anywhere. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Brady Penn) (Photo Credit: Airman 1st Class Brady Penn) VIEW ORIGINAL
Senior Airman Cedrick Kern and Airman 1st Class Essence Campbell of the 752nd Medical Squadron take part in a medical training scenario during Exercise Nexus Dawn while wearing Mission Oriented Protective Posture gear at March Air Reserve Base in California on April 28, 2021. NEXUS DAWN is a readiness exercise designed to test the ability of certain Air Force Reserve units to generate, employ and sustain air operations in a simulated combat environment. Missions included in NEXUS DAWN include aeromedical evacuation, airlift for cargo and personnel, aerial refueling, deployment processing, aerial port operations, and command and control. Reserve Citizen Airmen from Travis, Beale, March, McChord, and McConnell Air Force Bases will participate in the exercise, as well as Air National Guardsmen from Fresno, Calif. (U.S. Air Force Reserve photo by Staff Sergeant Ryan Green)
10 / 10 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Senior Airman Cedrick Kern and Airman 1st Class Essence Campbell of the 752nd Medical Squadron take part in a medical training scenario during Exercise Nexus Dawn while wearing Mission Oriented Protective Posture gear at March Air Reserve Base in California on April 28, 2021. NEXUS DAWN is a readiness exercise designed to test the ability of certain Air Force Reserve units to generate, employ and sustain air operations in a simulated combat environment. Missions included in NEXUS DAWN include aeromedical evacuation, airlift for cargo and personnel, aerial refueling, deployment processing, aerial port operations, and command and control. Reserve Citizen Airmen from Travis, Beale, March, McChord, and McConnell Air Force Bases will participate in the exercise, as well as Air National Guardsmen from Fresno, Calif. (U.S. Air Force Reserve photo by Staff Sergeant Ryan Green) (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Ryan Green) VIEW ORIGINAL

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Reserve Citizen Airmen traveled to multiple military installations in California this week to take part in their units’ first major West Coast readiness exercise since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Exercise Nexus Dawn, which took place April 26-28, 2021, was designed to safely test the ability of certain Air Force Reserve units to generate, employ, and sustain air operations in a simulated contested, degraded, and operationally limited environment.

Planning for the readiness exercise started in May 2019. Despite the onset of the pandemic, inspections teams from the 349th AMW at Travis Air Force Base, California, and the 446th Airlift wing from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, pressed forward with their plans to create a robust test of units’ combat readiness, adopting precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention along the way.

“COVID-19 evolved into planning factors not just for the players but for the planners,” said Lt. Col. Gerard Guevara, director of inspections for the 349th Air Mobility Wing Inspections Directorate. “Avoiding the spread of the virus also became an exercise objective. Attention was given to occupancy of vehicles for transportation, numbers of players in one area at a time, work center sanitation, and mask wearing at all times.”

During the exercise, Reserve Citizen Airmen were presented with a series of realistic and challenging missions, including aeromedical evacuation, airlift of cargo and personnel, aerial refueling, deployment processing, aerial port operations, and command and control.

Coordinating the exercise over the course of nearly two years, especially 2020, presented significant challenges for the primary planners who are stationed 720 miles apart. Ultimately, their commitment to a shared mission and vision, and their embrace of new technology and processes bridged the physical gap.

“Besides select site visits, planning was done remotely, which allowed opportunities to explore new communication platforms,” Guevara said. “This whole platform was built upon relationships and goodwill between wings, and within them.”

Reservists from Travis and Beale Air Force Bases, as well as March Air Reserve Base, all in California, took part in the exercise.

They were joined by fellow Fourth Air Force units at JBLM, McConnell AFB, Kansas, and Dover AFB, Delaware. The California Air National Guard’s 144th Fighter Wing in Fresno contributed Combat Air Forces to the scenarios, and active duty Marines from Camp Pendleton added a joint forces.

“This exercise highlighted that our Reserve Citizen Airmen need experiences like this to get better at their jobs, and to be able to provide airpower anytime, anywhere,” Guevara said. “And we owe that to them and the American public, despite limitations of this pandemic.”