US and international crews complete Coalition Virtual Guardian 2021
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US and international crews complete Coalition Virtual Guardian 2021

24 Sep 2021 (Last Updated September 24th, 2021 12:27)

Participants used simulators to fly several virtual weapon systems, including C-17 and C-130 aircraft.

US and international crews complete Coalition Virtual Guardian 2021
A USAF C-130E manufactured by Lockheed Martin. Credit: USAF / Tech Sgt Howard Blair.

Air mobility partners from the US, Australia, New Zealand and Canada have participated in an all-virtual training exercise.

Named ‘Coalition Virtual Guardian 2021 (CVG 21)’, the exercise was organised and conducted by Northrop Grumman for the US Air Force (USAF) Air Mobility Command (AMC).

Northrop Grumman mission readiness and protective systems vice-president Terri Malone said: “We have developed and executed thousands of training events with realistic, high-fidelity scenarios for the airforce.

“Live military training exercises require a complex and expensive logistical effort, while simulation is safer and more cost-effective and allows for maximum participation, even from locations around the world.”

Participants flew several virtual weapon systems, as well as C-17 and C-130 aircraft from simulators at their home bases.

The exercise focused on ‘joint task force tactical and operational level’ needs.

The all-virtual event, which was executed on the USAF Distributed Training Center Network (DTCN), witnessed the delivery of adversary threats and tactical manoeuvre training opportunities.

During the exercise, the crews interacted on the DTCN in an ‘immersive constructive environment’ comprising several fighter jets, bombers, and airborne command, control and communications platforms, intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance aircraft, and air-refuelling tankers.

Ground personnel, including airfield tower controllers and other drop zone control officers, were also involved in the exercise.

Royal Australian Air Force wing commander Michael Tully said: “Coalition Virtual Guardian is particularly noteworthy because it marks the beginning of on-demand air mobility exercises and training with coalition partners.”