Mobility Guardian draws to an end

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. – Crews flew approximately 1,200 hours in eight days, executing nearly 650 sorties during Exercise Mobility Guardian, July 31 to Aug. 12.

During those missions, refueling aircraft offloaded roughly 1.2 million pounds of fuel; aerial port personnel processed 3,676 passengers and 4,911 tons of equipment; and crews airdropped 356 paratroopers, 33 heavy platforms and nearly 300 Container Delivery System bundles.

“I think [Mobility Guardian] was very beneficial because it was the first exercise in a long time where the sole focus was on the desired learning objectives of the Mobility forces across the spectrum: contingency response, aeromedical evacuation, air mobility liaison officers, air refueling, airlift, airdrop and much more,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Johnny Lamontagne, Mobility Guardian combined forces air component commander.

Mobility Guardian included 54 aircraft from 11 nations and enabled personnel from 25 nations to enhance interoperability.

“It was great for them to be able to see how we operate and for us to see how they operate,” said Lamontagne. “When the United States goes into combat, we go with our international partners, but we rarely get to train together.

“This was a great opportunity to integrate so when we go into combat, it’s not the first time we’ve worked together; we already have some experience and understand each other’s capabilities,” he added.

The exercise included more than 3,500 U.S. service members and international partners who worked to measure the effectiveness of the Mobility Air Forces in contingency and humanitarian response operations.

“Mobility Guardian was about learning, discovery and the opportunity to work as a part of a joint and coalition team,” said U.S. Air Force Gen. Carlton D. Everhart II, Air Mobility Command commander. “This exercise was an investment in ensuring our Airmen are prepared to succeed in the most challenging environments and deliver desired results across the globe.”