Mobility forces enable joint forcible entry exercise

Soldiers boarding a C-130J for an air drop

U.S. Army Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, Ft. Bragg, N.C., board a C-130J Super Hercules assigned to the 41st Airlift Squadron, Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., during Exercise Mobility Guardian, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., Aug. 2, 2017. More than 3,000 Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and international partners converged on the state of Washington in support of Mobility Guardian. The exercise is intended to test the abilities of the Mobility Air Forces to execute rapid global mobility missions in dynamic, contested environments. Mobility Guardian is Air Mobility Command's premier exercise, providing an opportunity for the Mobility Air Forces to train with joint and international partners in airlift, air refueling, aeromedical evacuation and mobility support. The exercise is designed to sharpen Airmen’s skills in support of combatant commander requirements. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Larry E. Reid Jr.)

Night vision goggles view of helicopter and 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers

A U.S. Army UH-60 Blackhawk Medevac helicopter from the U.S. Army Ambulance Detachment, Yakima, Wash., stands by as members of the 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C., parachute into Grant County International Airport, Wash., Aug. 3, 2017, in support of exercise Mobility Guardian. More than 3,000 Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and international partners converged on the state of Washington in support of Mobility Guardian. The exercise is intended to test the abilities of the Mobility Air Forces to execute rapid global mobility missions in dynamic, contested environments. Mobility Guardian is Air Mobility Command's premier exercise, providing an opportunity for the Mobility Air Forces to train with joint and international partners in airlift, air refueling, aeromedical evacuation and mobility support. The exercise is designed to sharpen Airmen's skills in support of combatant commander requirements. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Kristen Heller)

Soldier checking helmet before air drop

Sgt. 1st Class Zachary Moore, 27th Engineer Batallion Sapper Company platoon sergeant, has his helmet checked prior to a joint forcible entry exercise at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., Aug. 2, 2017. More than 3,000 Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and international partners converged on the state of Washington in support of Mobility Guardian. The exercise is intended to test the abilities of the Mobility Air Forces to execute rapid global mobility missions in dynamic, contested environments. Mobility Guardian is Air Mobility Command's premier exercise, providing an opportunity for the Mobility Air Forces to train with joint and international partners in airlift, air refueling, aeromedical evacuation and mobility support. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Erin McClellan)

Up close view of 82nd Airborne Division patches on a uniform

A soldier assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C., prepares to load onto an aircraft prior to a joint forcile entry exercise at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., Aug. 2, 2017. More than 3,000 Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and international partners converged on the state of Washington in support of Mobility Guardian. The exercise is intended to test the abilities of the Mobility Air Forces to execute rapid global mobility missions in dynamic, contested environments. Mobility Guardian is Air Mobility Command's premier exercise, providing an opportunity for the Mobility Air Forces to train with joint and international partners in airlift, air refueling, aeromedical evacuation and mobility support. The exercise is designed to sharpen Airmen’s skills in support of combatant commander requirements. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Erin McClellan)

Overhead shot of pallets for air drop

U.S. Air Force and Coalition Joint Airdrop Inspectors from Joint Base Lewis-McChord Wash., Pope Army Airfield, N.C., and the French Air Force check container delivery system bundles in preparation for a drop in support of Exercise Mobility Guardian at JBLM Aug. 03, 2017. More than 3,000 Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and international partners converged on the state of Washington in support of Mobility Guardian. The exercise is intended to test the abilities of the Mobility Air Forces to execute rapid global mobility missions in dynamic, contested environments. Mobility Guardian is Air Mobility Command's premier exercise, providing an opportunity for the Mobility Air Forces to train with joint and international partners in airlift, air refueling, aeromedical evacuation and mobility support. The exercise is designed to sharpen Airmen’s skills in support of combatant commander requirements. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Tech. Sgt. Gregory Brook

Night vision goggles view of air drop of paratroopers

U.S. Air Force C-130 Hercules conducts a nighttime air drop of paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C., into Grant County International Airport, Wash., in support of Exercise Mobility Guardian Aug. 3, 2017. More than 3,000 Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and international partners converged on the state of Washington in support of Mobility Guardian. The exercise is intended to test the abilities of the Mobility Air Forces to execute rapid global mobility missions in dynamic, contested environments. Mobility Guardian is Air Mobility Command's premier exercise, providing an opportunity for the Mobility Air Forces to train with joint and international partners in airlift, air refueling, aeromedical evacuation and mobility support. The exercise is designed to sharpen Airmen’s skills in support of combatant commander requirements. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kyle Brasier)

Up close shot of 82nd Airborne Division soldier

A Soldier assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C., loads onto a C-130 Hercules prior to a joint forcible entry exercise at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., Aug. 2, 2017. More than 3,000 Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and international partners converged on the state of Washington in support of Mobility Guardian. The exercise is intended to test the abilities of the Mobility Air Forces to execute rapid global mobility missions in dynamic, contested environments. Mobility Guardian is Air Mobility Command's premier exercise, providing an opportunity for the Mobility Air Forces to train with joint and international partners in airlift, air refueling, aeromedical evacuation and mobility support. The exercise is designed to sharpen Airmen’s skills in support of combatant commander requirements. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Erin McClellan)

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash.-- Mobility forces partnered with the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division for a joint forcible entry exercise Aug. 2 here and at Moses Lake as part of Exercise Mobility Guardian. 

Thirteen C-17 Globemaster III, 19 C-130 Hercules and 10 air refueling aircraft from the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the U.K. enabled the mission, said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Judd Baker, 43rd Operations Support Squadron commander, Pope Field, North Carolina.

Personnel from the 82nd ABN, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and 43rd Air Mobility Operations Group, Pope Airfield, North Carolina, prepared and inspected heavy cargo to ensure it was airworthy prior to the mission, he added.

During the operation, partnerships between the Air Force and the Army were capitalized on to airdrop equipment and 377 Soldiers into an austere airfield at Moses Lake to exercise the global response force.

“Every time there’s an airborne assault, we’re using the Air Force,” said Army Lt. Col. Ricky Taylor, 1st Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment battalion commander. “The joint planning and collaboration between the staffs and the commands is imperative. 

“We have a good working relationship, but we always need to hone our planning processes and overall skills,” he continued. “What we don’t want is atrophy throughout the force.”

Once the 82nd ABN secured the airfield, they transitioned control to 821st Contingency Response Group personnel, who then began air base opening operations to safely land aircraft at the site. Exercises of this nature are necessary to ensure the branches are able to operate together seamlessly in real-world situations. 

“Practice makes perfect, and that’s why we need this kind of exercise,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Ryan Strength, an air mobility liaison officer assigned to the 621st Mobility Support Operations Squadron. “Not everything goes as planned the first time, and the way we find that out is through execution.

“We’re not going to find all the limiting factors to any kind of scenario unless we actually practice it,” Strength added. “You can always get better at something, and the more opportunities we have to train, the better equipped we’re going to be for when we’re actually fighting a war.”