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LRAFB hosts C-130J Fly In

Maj. Christopher Boelscher, 61st Airlift Squadron pilot, operates a C-130J Mar. 13, 2018, near Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. Team Little Rock hosted over 65 Airmen from six wings to train together and showcase tactical airlift. Partnerships and interoperability enhance operational effectiveness and mission readiness. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Codie Collins)

Maj. Christopher Boelscher, 61st Airlift Squadron pilot, operates a C-130J Mar. 13, 2018, near Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. Team Little Rock hosted over 65 Airmen from six wings to train together and showcase tactical airlift. Partnerships and interoperability enhance operational effectiveness and mission readiness. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Codie Collins)

A green night vision photo depicting a male wearing night vision goggles in a completely black aircraft.

An Airman operates night vision goggles during an exercise Mar. 13, 2018, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. Numerous C-130J units from around the Air Force participated in a training event to enhance operational effectiveness and joint interoperability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Grace Nichols)

Nineteen C-130s taxi and prepare for takeoff.

Nineteen C-130J aircraft take part in an elephant walk before takeoff during an exercise Mar. 15, 2018, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. Numerous C-130J units from around the Air Force participated in a training event to enhance operational effectiveness and joint interoperability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rhett Isbell)

An Airman wearing a flight suit and leather jacket directs a medium tactical vehicle driver into a C-130 J.

A loadmaster from Little Rock Air Force Base marshals a medium tactical vehicle onto a C-130J March 13, 2018, at Little Rock AFB, Ark. Numerous C-130 units from around the Air Force participated in an exercise to enhance operational effectiveness and joint interoperability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kristine M. Gruwell)

An Airman flies in the back of an aircraft and drops a hay bale during a training event

Senior Airman Jay Tuazon, 61st Airlift Squadron loadmaster, pushes a hay bale off the ramp of a C-130J during a training mission March 14, 2018, at the All-American drop zone near Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. The air drops were part of training sortie flown during an exercise hosting more than 65 Airmen from six wings to train together and showcase tactical airlift. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kaylee Clark)

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. -- More than 65 Airmen from six wings across the C-130J Super Hercules force trained to increase interoperability and operational effectiveness during a training exercise March 10, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas.

Team Little Rock played an integral role throughout the week hosting members of the C-130 family during the team-driven training event.

Enhancing operational effectiveness, partnerships and training with C-130 crews from around the globe demonstrate the dedication to safe and effective mission execution of the C-130 teams and their role in national defense.

“Even though we are different C-130 units, we use this training to become a more cohesive force,” said Master Sgt. Shawn Conder, 61st Airlift Squadron flight chief.

To get Airmen and birds in the air, it takes a coordinated and collaborative effort across all units, ensuring readiness of not only the aircraft itself, but also Airmen.

“The C-130 community has been surging as a whole to meet the demands required to support our national defense,” said Lt. Col. Daniel Hilferty, 34th Combat Training Squadron director of operations.  “This operation was an opportunity for us to get together and discuss the lessons we have learned to ensure that we are maintaining interoperability.”

 

Throughout the week, Team Little Rock participated in multiple exercises including formation flying, hay bale airdrops and a mass formation sortie. The exercises enhanced partnerships among different Air Force crews because the different base’s crew members were mixed together during the training.

The exercise enhanced mobility partnerships as an overall C-130 force. The main focus and overall outcome educated key participants on the value of the full force in national defense.

“This exercise gave us an opportunity to discuss tactics, train in realistic scenarios and raise the bar for tactical proficiency across the C-130 community,” Hilferty said.

 

Each time we exercise, we bring together Airmen from a variety of career fields into a unified team who work together to project and sustain agile combat airlift.

“Our ability to operate throughout the continuum of conflict depends upon our ability to integrate and partner with a diverse array of assets,” Hilferty said. “This exercise challenged us to work across the C-130 community with assets from Pacific Air Forces, United States Air Forces in Europe, Air Combat Command, as well as our Total Force, strengthening our lethality as team.”

Developing Airmen was a priority in this exercise. The Airmen who executed these processes at the squadron level were given a great deal of responsibility, which enabled them to maintain a healthy perspective personally and professionally while under pressure.