The Total Force mobility airmen and the US Army soldiers carried out a joint exercise, code-named Global Response Expeditor, at Pope Army Airfield in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, US.
Involving participation from 23 US Air Force (USAF) aircraft, including the C-17 Globemaster III, C-130 Hercules and KC-135 Stratotanker, the exercise was aimed at preparing Air Mobility Command forces and elements of the XVIII Airborne Corps and US Transportation Command units, to respond as part of the global response force (GRF), and conduct joint forcible entry operations.
The GRF is a force dedicated to maintaining the capability of deploying globally on short notice by land, air or sea to conduct a broad spectrum of mission sets.
The participants included the units belonging to the 621st Contingency Response Wing, the 570th Contingency Response Group, 817th Contingency Response Group and the 43rd Airlift Group.
Around 1,124 paratroopers were air dropped by the mobility crews and aircraft, in addition to offloading more than 120 short tonnes of cargo at drop zones at the Joint Readiness Training Center in Fort Polk, Louisiana, US.
The joint team successfully met all of their training objectives, and also helped the brigade combat team in achieving jump currency while preparing for a forthcoming overseas deployment.
Little Rock AFB 61st Airlift Squadron Air Force lead planner major Joe Bonner said: "This exercise required a lot of integration and planning for all of the different aircraft involved, including the C-17 and C-130s from Charleston, Elmendorf, McChord, McConnell, Little Rock, Dyess, and then all of the other capabilities that need to go along with them, including the maintenance personnel, ramp coordinators, joint airdrop inspection and intel."
61st Airlift Squadron C-130J Hercules aircraft formation flight lead major Leonardo Tongko said, "This exercise was a great opportunity and really the key words that we think about when we do this is joint integration and composite force integration."
The airmen participating in Global Response Expeditor are able to develop refinements to processes and procedures that can potentially enhance their effectiveness for contingency operations, through interaction and close working with their joint partners.
Image: 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers load onto a C-130 Hercules aircraft during joint exercise Global Response Expeditor at Pope Army Airfield in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, US. Photo: courtesy of USAF Marvin Krause.