HomeNewsArticle Display

US, foreign military pilots navigate through Alaskan, Canadian wildfire smoke

Smoke from the British Columbia, Canada wildfires, which has resulted in a burn ban for the Tacoma area, blankets the Joint Base Lewis-McChord flightline, Aug. 2,2017. The multiple fires have created pollution and visibility concerns for those participating in Mobility Guardian. More than 3,000 Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and international partners converged on the state of Washington in support of Mobility Guardian. The exercise is intended to test the abilities of the Mobility Air Forces to execute rapid global mobility missions in dynamic, contested environments. Mobility Guardian is Air Mobility Command's premier exercise, providing an opportunity for the Mobility Air Forces to train with joint and international partners in airlift, air refueling, aeromedical evacuation and mobility support. The exercise is designed to sharpen Airmen’s skills in support of combatant commander requirements. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jodi Martinez)

Smoke from the British Columbia, Canada wildfires, which has resulted in a burn ban for the Tacoma area, blankets the Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., flightline, Aug. 2, 2017. The multiple fires have created pollution and visibility concerns for those participating in Mobility Guardian. Mobility Guardian is Air Mobility Command's premier exercise, providing an opportunity for the Mobility Air Forces to train with joint and international partners in airlift, air refueling, aeromedical evacuation and mobility support. The exercise is designed to sharpen Airmen’s skills in support of combatant commander requirements. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Jodi Martinez)

A C-17 Globemaster III flies into hazy skies, where smoke from the British Columbia, Canada wildfires blanket northwest Washington, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., Aug. 2,2017.  The smoke has resulted in a burn ban for the Tacoma area and has created visibility concerns for those participating in Mobility Guardian. More than 3,000 Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and international partners converged on the state of Washington in support of Mobility Guardian. The exercise is intended to test the abilities of the Mobility Air Forces to execute rapid global mobility missions in dynamic, contested environments. Mobility Guardian is Air Mobility Command's premier exercise, providing an opportunity for the Mobility Air Forces to train with joint and international partners in airlift, air refueling, aeromedical evacuation and mobility support. The exercise is designed to sharpen Airmen’s skills in support of combatant commander requirements. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jodi Martinez)

A C-17 Globemaster III flies into hazy skies, where smoke from the British Columbia, Canada wildfires blanket Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., Aug. 2,2017. The smoke has resulted in a burn ban for the Tacoma area and has created visibility concerns for those participating in Mobility Guardian. Mobility Guardian is Air Mobility Command's premier exercise, providing an opportunity for the Mobility Air Forces to train with joint and international partners in airlift, air refueling, aeromedical evacuation and mobility support. The exercise is designed to sharpen Airmen’s skills in support of combatant commander requirements. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Jodi Martinez)

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. (AFNS) --

Training scenarios for U.S. military and 11 partnering nation pilots who are participating in Air Mobility Command’s large-scale exercise, Mobility Guardian, now include reduced visibility due to wildfires.

The smoke, which is a milky haze, descended upon much of Washington August 1, 2017.

“This phenomenon is caused by smoke from wildfires in Alaska as well as northern and central Canada,” according to the National Weather Service website. “The smoke from these fires rises high into the atmosphere and is driven south across the Upper Midwest by upper level winds.”

While the haze presents several challenges for Mobility Guardian pilots, it also offers crews a unique opportunity.

“It bolsters crew resource management,” said Maj. Andrew Rich, the Mobility Guardian joint task force director of operations. “It creates more complex scenarios to navigate through which helps sharpen their skills.”

Though the haze may be compared by some to flying through fog or at night, flying through smoke presents different challenges.

“AMC uses [night-vision goggles] extremely well to navigate the challenges of night flying,” said Lt. Col. Jeremy Wagner, the Mobility Guardian exercise director. “Smoke is an obscurant that cannot be easily mitigated.

“It’s just more difficult for every task,” he continued “We’re pushing hard to get difficult and valuable training. We are empowering crews to press forward to accomplishing their missions safely.”

Safety is of paramount concern.

“We are providing flying observer controllers whose primary purpose is the safety and effective execution of all the missions,” said Lt. Col. Joe Bonner, the Mobility Guardian observer controllers mission commander. “They’ve all been given the authority to terminate a sortie at any time safety or crew error becomes a factor.

“This is an exercise – there’s nothing we are going to do to put planes or crews at risk,” he added.

To date, several routes have been changed and one airdrop was cancelled.

Mobility Guardian is a new exercise intended to enhance mobility partnerships and test the full spectrum of capabilities AMC provides the nation. It began July 31, 2017, and is scheduled to conclude August 12, 2017. The exercise involves participation from more than 3,000 U.S. military personnel from the Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps in addition to participants from 25 international countries.

 

Engage

Twitter
RT @DefenseOne: JOIN US TODAY @ 2 P.M. ET when our “State of Defense” series continues with a live interview featuring U.S. Air Force Chief…
Twitter
RT @DeptofDefense: Teaching service members how to effectively shoot weapons. That’s the job of Combat Arms Training and Management. Watch…
Twitter
RT @cmsaf_official: Team - 25 years ago today, we lost 24 U.S. & Canadian Airmen in the Yukla 27 crash. It was a surveillance training so…
Twitter
Taking care of Airmen and their families! https://t.co/AVeidzDPcV
Twitter
Wherever Airmen go, the Federal Voting Assistance Program ensures their voice is heard. @FVAP works to ensure servi… https://t.co/tkJts1yo3Z
Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: For #HispanicHeritageMonth, we're celebrating the stories of Hispanic & Latino Airmen! @188thWG SSgt. Emmanuel Gutierrez…
Twitter
#TotalForce Airmen participate in night operations during a base-wide, total force exercise @HAFB. Airmen & pilots… https://t.co/kJYNKwHY7n
Twitter
RT @USAFReserve: California fires/smoke no match for UTA Airmen - https://t.co/pJysQ6snRh (Story by the @940Wing) #ReserveReady #ReserveRes
Twitter
Whistleblowers are NOT insider threats. Learn the difference and how you can appropriately report questionable gove… https://t.co/AaTvBfHcTv
Twitter
SrA Denise Arabie, 319th Operations Support Squadron radar approach controller @319thRW, describes the importance o… https://t.co/zkwMx6Qw3i
Twitter
RT @173rdFW: "I may have lost everything, but thanks to the support we’ve found here, I’m going to be back on my feet inside of a few weeks…
Twitter
.@GenCQBrownJr & @cmsaf_official sat down and discussed how the Air Force will continue exempting Airmen from PT t… https://t.co/bWVig9fSOW
Twitter
SrA Mark Gonzalez describes how his job enables the B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber to support the Bomber Task Force depl… https://t.co/sceKCtM3Pz
Twitter
RT @AETCommand: Our Airmen come from all walks of life — and we are stronger for it. Staff Sgt. Kalinin, 56th Force Support Squadron ALS…
Twitter
“It's critical to have that diversity in the Air Force that we have today because it is truly through that diversit… https://t.co/RIDQDjdlCr
Twitter
F-16 Fighting Falcons assigned to the 18th Aggressor Squadron @EielsonAirForce takeoff in support of exercise Valia… https://t.co/cf0raGgEUD
Twitter
RT @USAF_ACC: "This test, and others like it, can shape the future of the MQ-9, as we continue to increase its relevance in great power com…
Twitter
"We cannot rest on our laurels. It is all about the people, folks, and they will guarantee our readiness, and are f… https://t.co/BsNDUSw0wE
Twitter
RT @USAFCENT: USAFCENT Airmen and coalition partners are executing missions of national, regional and global importance and Exercise Desert…
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,281,142
Follow Us