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Certified Royal: 3rd AS conducts AFFORGEN certification event

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Amanda Jett
  • 436th Airlift Wing

DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. – Four C-17 Globemaster III’s from Dover Air Force Base participated in Agile Royal, an Air Force Force Generation certification event that took place across five military installations, Sept. 15, 2023.
The week-long event evaluated the 3rd Expeditionary Airlift Squadron’s ability to successfully execute Air Mobility Command capabilities, enhance total force and joint interoperability and operate in a high threat environment.

“We crammed as much as we could into a one-week event,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Trevor Arias, 436th Operations Support Squadron chief of wing tactics. “We were ambitious with this event and the crews responded as expected, with professionalism and expertise.”

The 3rd EAS was comprised of multiple squadrons from across Dover AFB to include: 3rd and 326th AS, 436th and 512th Operations Support Squadrons, 736th and 712th Aircraft Maintenance Squadrons, 436th Maintenance Squadron, 436th Logistics Readiness Squadron and the 436th Aerial Port Squadron.

Together, these nine squadrons performed several high threat level scenarios covering unique circumstances such as simulated battle damage. This unique scenario tested the crew's capability of flying with the removal of an inboard main landing gear door, but proved they can still effectively accomplish the mission without it. Airmen were encouraged to embrace Agile Combat Employment concepts which emphasized flexibility, adaptability, and effective utilization of Multi-Capable Airmen.

“The important thing for this exercise was not just to introduce challenges to the aircrew,” said Arias. “It also introduced challenges to the ground personnel and even challenges all the way up to the commander.”

Agile Royal also tested Team Dover’s ability to operate in a joint service environment. During the exercise, Team Dover Airmen executed a rapid departure from Pope Army Airfield, North Carolina, completed a semi-prepared runway operation at Marine Corps Auxiliary Landing Field, N.C., loaded a M2A4 Bradley Fighting vehicle, loaded multiple High Mobility Artillery Rocket System vehicles and more with assistance from U.S. Army Soldiers and Marines.

“There's always challenges when working with other services,” said U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Nathaniel Bochenek, 3rd Airlift Squadron pilot. “However, it's important to be able to integrate with [other DOD branches] and communicate effectively in order to overcome challenges and accomplish the mission in a safe and effective manner.”

By the end of the exercise, the 3rd EAS moved an estimated 1.3 million pounds of cargo, completed Dover AFB’s first C-17 four ship minimal interval landing and overall demonstrated their ability to provide rapid global airlift as a deployed Total Force unit.

“There was a massive amount of people that went into making this event as successful as it was,” said Bochenek. “All of the dedication and hard work enabled us to accomplish the mission today, and will be the reason we accomplish the mission tomorrow, whatever it may be.”