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U.S., multiple nations partner for Mobility Guardian

Over 650 international service members will work alongside more than 3,000 U.S. service members during Mobility Guardian across Washington state from, July 31, 2017 to Aug. 12, 2017.  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 graphic by Tech. Sgt. Jodi Martinez)

Over 650 international service members will work alongside more than 3,000 U.S. service members during Mobility Guardian across Washington state from, July 31, 2017 to Aug. 12, 2017. 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 graphic by Tech. Sgt. Jodi Martinez)

The 86th Aerial Port Squadron assists the Belgian Air Component 15th Air Transport Wing 20th Squadron with offloading cargo during their arrival to Mobility Guardian, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., July 28, 2017.  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 manipulation by Staff Sgt. Jael Laborn)

The 86th Aerial Port Squadron assists the Belgian Air Component 15th Air Transport Wing 20th Squadron with offloading cargo during their arrival to Mobility Guardian, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., July 28, 2017. 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 manipulation by Staff Sgt. Jael Laborn)

Airmen assigned to the Canadian Forces Aeromedical Evacuation Unit and the 436th Transport Squadron work with Airmen assigned to the 62nd Aerial Port Squadron to unload pallets as they arrive at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., July 29, 2017. The airmen traveled from Canadian Forces Base Trenton, Quinte West, Ontario as participants in the exercise.  More than 3,000 Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and international partners will converge 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)

Airmen assigned to the Canadian Forces Aeromedical Evacuation Unit and the 436th Transport Squadron work with Airmen assigned to the 62nd Aerial Port Squadron to unload pallets as they arrive at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., July 29, 2017. The airmen traveled from Canadian Forces Base Trenton, Quinte West, Ontario as participants in the exercise. More than 3,000 Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and international partners will converge 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)

Senior Master Sgt. Joseph Wallis, 62nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron lead production superintendent, talks with a member of the Brazilian air force's 5th Wing at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., July 29, 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)

Senior Master Sgt. Joseph Wallis, 62nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron lead production superintendent, talks with a member of the Brazilian air force's 5th Wing at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., July 29, 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)

Capt. Mark Bishop, KC-10 Extender aircraft commander and international relations team member, greets members from the 251 Squadron, 5th Air Mobility Wing, Gimhae Airbase, Busan, Republic of Korea, following their arrival to Mobility Guardian, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., July 29, 2017. Crew members from 251 Squadron, 5th Fighter Wing, Gimhae Air Base, Busan, South Korea, wait to secure their aircraft propellers following their arrival to Mobility Guardian, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, July 9, 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. Capt. Bishop is currently stationed at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehrust, N.J., and hails fom Grand Rapids, M.I. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lauren Russell)

Capt. Mark Bishop, KC-10 Extender aircraft commander and international relations team member, greets members from the 251 Squadron, 5th Air Mobility Wing, Gimhae Airbase, Busan, Republic of Korea, following their arrival to Mobility Guardian, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., July 29, 2017. Crew members from 251 Squadron, 5th Fighter Wing, Gimhae Air Base, Busan, South Korea, wait to secure their aircraft propellers following their arrival to Mobility Guardian, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, July 9, 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. Capt. Bishop is currently stationed at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehrust, N.J., and hails fom Grand Rapids, M.I. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lauren Russell)

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. -- Nearly 30 partner nations will participate alongside the U.S. during Air Mobility Command's Mobility Guardian, which is scheduled to begin across Washington state July 31 and concludes Aug. 12, 2017. 

The exercise aims to enhance the U.S. military's global response force by integrating in complex, realistic mobility training with partner nations. 

Fully-integrated events during the exercise will allow for strategic interoperability in support of real-world operations, said Maj. Thomas Rich, Joint Task Force director of operations for Mobility Guardian. 

"We're pushing the tactical edge," said Rich. "We're putting aircraft from different nations close together in a tight air space in a dynamic threat environment. There's a little bit of inherent risk in that, but that's what we want to do here so that everybody is ready when we do it for real." 

More than 650 international military personnel and 3,000 U.S. military service members will focus on AMC's four core competencies during the exercise, which include airlift, air refueling, aeromedical evacuation and air mobility support, said Col. Clinton Zumbrunnen, the international observer mission commander for Mobility Guardian. 

Zumbrunnen hopes Mobility Guardian, which is planned to be held biennially, will attract additional allies to attend and will encourage observers to return as participants in the future. 

Col. Jose Antonio Morales, Brazilian air force's 5th Wing training commander, mirrors this hope for his own country. 

"We are trying to arrange a lot of new exercises and interchanges between our countries," said Morales. "We are all so proud to represent our country and our air force and participate in this very important exercise." 

Some of the scheduled events include formations between the U.S., Brazil, and Colombia and a joint forcible entry from an intelligence alliance comprised of the U.S., Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Canada. 

Capt. Patrick Rodrigue, Canadian Forces Aeromedical Evacuation Unit flight nurse, offered his take on the upcoming exercise upon arrival here. 

"It's very important for us to get out there and actually practice our mission and get to practice our capacity as well as joint interoperability," said Rodrique. 

Those nations observing also play a vital role by strengthening partnerships with the U.S. and becoming familiarized with U.S. training, tactics, and procedures. Zumbrunnen said observers will be paired with U.S. crew members to see as much of the air mobility process as safely and securely as possible. 

It's a test of how we operate with interoperability and also gives us the opportunity to build relationships, he said. 

Mobility Guardian will focus on training both junior and senior Air Force Airmen to operate alongside international service members. To Rich, this maximizes the efficiency of the entire Air Force and its interoperability during real-world contingencies. 

For Zumbrunnen the effort to enhance unrivaled power projection capabilities is not possible without the help of U.S. allies. 

"I have not deployed anywhere or gone anywhere in my duty as an airlift pilot where there was not an international presence," said Zumbrunnen. 

Zumbrunnen believes the ability for the U.S. to gain and fight alongside its allies is an unrivaled asset. 

Mobility Guardian offers an avenue for testing the full spectrum of AMC capabilities. It also incorporates opportunities to exchange mobility expertise with international counterparts to create world-wide impact. 

The U.S. does not go to war without allies, said Rich, so it's important that Mobility Guardian develops our ability to power project when and where needed.