The US Air Force (USAF) has commenced a five-day training exercise, code-named Patriot Sands, at Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia, US.

The annual Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) exercise witnessed participation from service personnel from the USAF’s 315th Airlift Wing’s Airlift Control Flight (ALCF), Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) rapid response team and the US Coast Guard (USCG) maritime security response team.

USAF 315th ALCF commander major John Ramsey said: "Exercises like Patriot Sands are essential to our mission.

"The pilots get to experience heavier loads than they normally do.

"The aerial porters get to work away from their home station, which helps them develop their skills.

"The loadmasters get operational experience with rolling stock, which isn’t normal to their everyday mission.

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"And finally, we get the chance to practice and train on our mission set, which is setting up an airfield where we are able to handle the command and control of aircraft."

"This type of training is an excellent example of how we stay mission ready and mission focused."

The exercise involved ALCF members handling heavier loads such as hardside expandable light air mobility shelter (HELAM) which was loaded into C-17 Globemaster III at Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina.

USAF 315th Operations Group commander colonel Caroline Evernham said: "This type of training is an excellent example of how we stay mission ready and mission focused."

"The ALCF works hard with their affiliates to ensure they are trained and ready to prepare their equipment for transport at any time. The efficiencies gained from this week’s training will help us when we really need it."

The training exercise is expected to help the ALCF personnel improve their capabilities to accomplish their mission objectives.

Image: Members of the 315th Airlift Control Flight construct a hardside expandable light air mobility shelter during training exercise Patriot Sands. Photo: courtesy of US Air Force Photo / Senior Airman Jonathan Lane.