Exercise 'Wide Awake' has been conducted by fighter squadrons for the past several years, with an aim to improve and test the ability of bases and fighter squadrons to react to operational requirements at short notice in peacetime. Based on the past experience of this exercise, the procedure and assesment criteria were reviewed in 1997. The review was designed to bring the exercise in close conformity with the war role of various squadrons and to make an assesment in line with the policy governing the Assesment of Combat Efficiency of the Squadron (ACES).
The regional air commands task all the operational squadrons under the command for exercise 'Wide Awake' once in every six months. A squadron, which does not conduct this exercise during a particular half for some reason, is tasked twice in the subsequent half so as to complete the quota of these exercises for the calender year. The Operational Conversion Units (OCU) and Combat Commanders School (CCS) are tasked only during the slack peroid between the courses, if deemed appropriate. An additional exercise could also be tasked by the Inspector General's Branch during the annual visit to the bases.
The tasking oders for the exercise are issued not more than fifteen hours before the first TOT specified by a regional air command. This warning is invariably given after working hours. All serviceable aircraft of an operational squadron, including ADA aircraft, are to be flown in the exercise. The aircraft are fully loaded as for operational missions. All formations are required to approach the designated range at 250 feet AGL after a low level run of atleast 70 NM. The rules governing the exercise, and the armament to be carried are specified. The squadron then raises a post exercise report, including armament results, withen ten days.