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Liaison officers keep communication flowing in Swift Response

  • Published
  • 621st Contingency Response Wing
As exercise Swift Response 16 began phase II, with C-130J Super Hercules aircraft flying overhead and Soldiers operating on the ground, air mobility liaison officers kept effective communications flowing between both elements to ensure a successful exercise.

AMLOs, assigned to U.S. Air Forces in Europe and the 621st Mobility Support Operations Squadron, spoke both Air Force and Army terminology simultaneously. They worked to keep Army warfighters on the ground, Air Force aircrews and contingency response forces communicating effectively and on the same page.

“The exercise allows me to interface in a new realm of Army lingo, learning all the acronyms and how they talk and work, then I switch over to the Air Force and translate it into Air Force terminology and vice versa,” said Maj. Aaron Cook, a 621st Mobility Support Operation Squadron AMLO to the 2nd Cavalry Regiment/Joint Multinational Training Center.

AMLOs are Air Force officers trained to advise Army and Marine units on the optimum, safe use of air mobility assets. They conduct landing zone and drop zone operations, integrate with command and control, and provide advice on air mobility capabilities.

On the ground, having an AMLO who was familiar with the area benefited the contingency response forces as they set up an aerial port and started receiving aircraft in support of the 82nd Airborne Division.

“I know the region and the airstrip,” Cook said. “I know how to get out here and who to contact at the tower. I’ve been working with the AMLOs in the 82nd (AD) to be that middleman to relay information from Soldiers on the ground to the (contingency response) forces.”

Col. Rhett Champagne, the 821st Contingency Response Group commander, said that AMLOs work with the Army day in and day out.

“Because of this, they can see some of the frustrations that they may have from an Air Force perspective,” Champagne said. “It’s all about perspective, and to have an Airman be able to take the Army perspective and translate it to Air Force is invaluable.”

The exercise also provided an opportunity for AMLO leadership to see how the officers operate in the field.

“It’s an opportunity to validate the doctrine, policy, guidance and to take a good look at how we’ve equipped them to operate successfully in a deployed environment,” said Lt. Col. Brian Broekemeier, the AMLO functional area manager. “The AMLOs did great during (Swift Response 16). The exercise helped them learn how the warfighter thinks and also gave them firsthand knowledge of how (contingency response) forces work so that they can apply it for future real world ops.”