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Fairchild builds joint partnership with Marines

U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 384th and 93rd Air Refueling Squadrons walk towards an airfield during an observation of a Marine Corps exercise on Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, California, May 4, 2021. The observation allowed Team Fairchild the opportunity to create a joint partnership between Airmen and Marines for future exercises. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kiaundra Miller)

U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 384th and 93rd Air Refueling Squadrons walk towards an airfield during an observation of a Marine Corps exercise on Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, California, May 4, 2021. The observation allowed Team Fairchild the opportunity to create a joint partnership between Airmen and Marines for future exercises. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kiaundra Miller)

Team Fairchild Airmen from the 384th and 93rd Air Refueling Squadrons pose in front of a Mil Mi-17 helicopter after flying over the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, May 6, 2021. The observation allowed Team Fairchild the opportunity to create a joint partnership between Airmen and Marines for future exercises. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kiaundra Miller)

Team Fairchild Airmen from the 384th and 93rd Air Refueling Squadrons pose in front of a Mil Mi-17 helicopter after flying over the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, California, May 6, 2021. The observation allowed Team Fairchild the opportunity to create a joint partnership between Airmen and Marines for future exercises. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kiaundra Miller)

A civilian helicopter pilot flies a Mil Mi-17 helicopter over Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, California, May 6, 2021. The Marines involved in the exercise were split into two grounds, one representing friendly forces and the other representing enemy forces. The Mi-17 helicopter was in charge of flying over forces and simulating air attacks on either the friendly or enemy side of the team. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kiaundra Miller)

A civilian helicopter pilot flies a Mil Mi-17 helicopter over Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, California, May 6, 2021. The Marines involved in the exercise were split into two grounds, one representing friendly forces and the other representing enemy forces. The Mi-17 helicopter was in charge of flying over forces and simulating air attacks on either the friendly or enemy side of the team. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kiaundra Miller)

A U.S. Marine observes a hot pit refueling on the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center airfield, California, May 4, 2021. The observation allowed Team Fairchild the opportunity to create a joint partnership between Airmen and Marines for future exercises. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kiaundra Miller)

A U.S. Marine observes a hot pit refueling on the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center airfield, California, May 4, 2021. The observation allowed Team Fairchild the opportunity to create a joint partnership between Airmen and Marines for future exercises. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kiaundra Miller)

A U.S. Marine parks a Harrier Jump Jet to prepare for hot pit refueling during an exercise at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, California, May 4, 2021. There were over 12,000 participants in this large-scale exercise including the Marine Corps, Air Force, Navy, and Army. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kiaundra Miller)

A U.S. Marine parks a Harrier Jump Jet to prepare for hot pit refueling during an exercise at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, California, May 4, 2021. There were over 12,000 participants in this large-scale exercise including the Marine Corps, Air Force, Navy, and Army. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kiaundra Miller)

A U.S. Marine assigned to the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center directs a Harrier Jump Jet to a spot on the airfield for hot pit refueling at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, California, May 4, 2021. This large-scale exercise prepared Marines for their upcoming deployments. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kiaundra Miller)

A U.S. Marine assigned to the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center directs a Harrier Jump Jet to a spot on the airfield for hot pit refueling at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, California, May 4, 2021. This large-scale exercise prepared Marines for their upcoming deployments. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kiaundra Miller)

MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER -- Team Fairchild Airmen from the 384th and 93rd Air Refueling Squadron observed a Marine Corps exercise here, May 3-11, 2021.

The observation allowed Team Fairchild the opportunity to create a joint partnership between Airmen and Marines for future exercises.

During the observation, one asset was at the forefront: a lack of air refueling support, something Fairchild can provide in future exercises.

“Getting air refueling out here is a high-demand and low-density capability that the Marine Corps doesn’t have a lot of,” said Glen Healm, MCAGCC joint exercise planner. “There’s not enough air refueling to go around and that’s why we’re hoping the KC-135 Stratotankers can come out and give us a hand.”

Not only will providing air refueling support aid the Marines, but it will also provide several training opportunities for Team Fairchild.

“Doing this will wield a lot of benefits for Fairchild, specifically with what the Marine Corps is looking for in their KC-135 support,” said Lt. Col. Brian Sikkema, 384th Air Refueling Squadron operations officer. “Doing air refueling with them gives us an opportunity to practice some things we don’t get to practice out of our home station. The Marine Corps operates in a very different way than our typical receivers, giving us the opportunity to train to a different skillset.”

Having more close air support is extremely vital in large scale exercises like this one, specifically for Marine training for long range operations.

“The very end of our exercise is war-fighting, where we are concentrating on the near-peer capability that we are trying to hone in on,” Healm said. “That part of the exercise is force-on-force and is not scripted. We have an adversary force (local Marines) out there that is going to fight how they want to fight and create a lot of stress on the friendly forces (local Marines).”

Providing training to Airmen and Marines is extremely vital, not only to each service member, but aids in deterring war and protects national security.