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Air Force, Army conduct joint deployment prep exercises

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Mercedes Porter
  • 7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
The 39th Airlift Squadron and 40th Airlift Squadron assigned to Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, worked alongside the 428th Field Artillery Brigade assigned to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, to complete a joint exercise with three C-130J Super Hercules, May 1, at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

During the exercise, each aircraft received artillery, a Humvee and approximately 10 troops to simulate deploying into a combative zone overseas.

“It is important to conduct these joint exercises with the Army so that we can better prepare for operations, such as this one, downrange,” said 1st Lt. Jacob Echeverry, 40th AS pilot. “Working with them and understanding their needs and limitations helps us better prepare for follow on operations and gives us feedback for how we can improve the operation.”

These exercises are called Emergency Deployment Readiness Exercises. The purpose is to test the efficiency of mobilizing ground equipment and troops at a moment’s notice.
The 317th Airlift Wing regularity conducts these exercises to ensure accuracy, precision and excellence in the execution of joint exercise tasks.

This provides the squadrons with more combat exclusive training they often see when deployed overseas. One of the points for the exercises are to have a larger aircraft formation to challenge the crews with handling bigger communication and coordination roles. It also provides C-130J loadmasters the opportunity to load less commonly used cargo.

“These joint exercises help Airmen in my career field learn from new challenges faced when dealing with cargo we aren’t used to,” said Airman 1st Class Brooklynn Grimm, 40th AS loadmaster. “It helps build us and become mentors for future loadmasters entering the field.”

With these regular 317th AW exercises, the aircrews receive tools they need for the day they deploy into the overseas environments while becoming stronger and more versatile Airmen.