The US Air Force’s (USAF) Air Mobility Command has partnered with the Kentucky and Michigan Army National Guard (ANG) to transport and deploy the M142 high-mobility artillery rocket system (HIMARS).
The M142 is being deployed during the Mobility Guardian multinational readiness exercise, which includes AMC’s first large-scale training on agile combat employment (ACE).
It sets the standard for the role mobility aircraft plays in projecting the joint force and intends to validate readiness and test rapid global mobility capability.
The exercise allows airmen and soldiers to jointly work and learn more about each other’s individual branch processes and expand upon capabilities.
40th Airlift Squadron pilot captain Brian Vos said: “This exercise is all about demonstrating the ability to integrate with our joint partners and respond to threats in an expeditious and flexible manner based on a dynamic and complex battlespace.”
During phase one, the objective was ‘to rapidly deploy the all-terrain weather precision fire support system to a simulated austere location’ via C-17 Globemaster III and C-130J Super Hercules airlift.
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Kentucky Army National Guard field artillery crew member 623rd Field Artillery Regiment 1st Battalion staff sergeant Nathan Adams said: “Working with the Air Force really puts us in a different playground that makes us more mobile and agile.
“With the support of mobility aircraft, we expand our range of employment exponentially.”
HIMARS is a highly mobile artillery rocket system offering the firepower of MLRS on a wheeled chassis. It was developed during the late-1990s for the US Army.
The nearly two-week exercise is set to conclude on 27 May.
In October 2019, AMC held the Mobility Guardian exercise at Fairchild Air Force Base (AFB) in Washington.