The US Air Force’s (USAF) 62nd Airlift Wing has participated in Exercise Predictable Iron with the US Army’s 82nd Airborne Division at Pope Field, North Carolina.

As part of the exercise, the two units from the airforce and army participated in a joint training activity to drop equipment and personnel at two drop zones.

In three days, airmen from the 62nd Airlift Wing, together with soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division, dropped 40t of equipment such as armoured vehicles and re-supply containers, and a total of 1,005 paratroopers.

7th Airlift Squadron pilot and C-17 aircraft commander captain Jared Barkemeyer said: “It’s important that the airforce participate in these events to ensure that we are ready to do what our nation expects of us, which is to insert the 82nd Airborne anywhere in the world within a short time frame.

“They also worked with jumpmasters and paratroopers to enable them to maintain their readiness requirements for different airborne missions.”

“Also, during these events we identify shortcomings between the two services and eliminate them in order to strengthen our joint-force initiative.”

Barkemeyer added: “Inserting hundreds of jumpers into an objective area tests the crew’s abilities, as well as strengthens our habit patterns.”

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During the joint training, airmen from the 7th and 8th Airlift Squadrons of the 62nd Airlift Wing crewed two C-17 Globemaster III military transport aircraft to assist more than 1,000 US Army paratroopers.

The airmen and soldiers worked in collaboration with load equipment on to the two C-17s.

They also worked with jumpmasters and paratroopers to enable them to maintain their readiness requirements for different airborne missions.

Furthermore, the US Army practiced dropping the caster assisted A-series Delivery System, which is a new method of drop door bundles, a container of equipment pushed out of the doors of an aircraft.

Exercise Predictable Iron was designed to enable the USAF and the US Army improve their skill sets and work in cooperation to attain a common goal, in addition to providing the US Department of Defence with combat-credible military forces.