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Mobility forces enable joint forcible entry exercise

Soldiers boarding a C-130J for an air drop

Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, Fort Bragg, N.C., board a C-130J Super Hercules assigned to the 41st Airlift Squadron, Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., during Exercise Mobility Guardian held at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., Aug. 2, 2017. 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. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Larry E. Reid Jr.)

Night vision goggles view of helicopter and 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers

An Army UH-60 Blackhawk medevac helicopter from the Army Ambulance Detachment, Yakima, Wash., stands by as members of the 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C., parachute into Grant County International Airport, Wash., Aug. 3, 2017, in support of exercise 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. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Kristen Heller)

Overhead shot of pallets for air drop

Air Force and coalition joint airdrop Inspectors from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., Pope Army Airfield, N.C., and the French air force check container delivery system bundles in preparation for a drop in support of Exercise Mobility Guardian at JB Lewis-McChord Aug. 3, 2017. 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. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Tech. Sgt. Gregory Brook)

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. (AFNS) -- Air mobility forces partnered with the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division for a joint forcible entry exercise Aug. 2, 2017, at both Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Moses Lake as part of Exercise Mobility Guardian.

Thirteen C-17 Globemaster III’s, 19 C-130 Hercules and 10 air refueling aircraft from the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Canada and England enabled the mission, said Air Force Lt. Col. Judd Baker, the 43rd Operations Support Squadron commander, Pope Field, North Carolina.

Personnel from the 82nd ABN, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and 43rd Air Mobility Operations Group, Pope Field, prepared and inspected heavy cargo to ensure it was airworthy prior to the mission, he added.

During the operation, partnerships between the Air Force and the Army were capitalized on to airdrop equipment and 377 Soldiers into an austere airfield at Moses Lake to exercise the global response force.

“Every time there’s an airborne assault, we’re using the Air Force,” said Army Lt. Col. Ricky Taylor, the 1st Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment battalion commander. “The joint planning and collaboration between the staffs and the commands is imperative. “We have a good working relationship, but we always need to hone our planning processes and overall skills. What we don’t want is atrophy throughout the force.”

Once the 82nd ABN secured the airfield, they transitioned control to 821st Contingency Response Group personnel, who then began air base opening operations to safely land aircraft at the site. Exercises of this nature help ensure the branches are able to operate together seamlessly in real-world situations.

“Practice makes perfect, and that’s why we need this kind of exercise,” said Air Force Maj. Ryan Strength, a 621st Mobility Support Operations Squadron air mobility liaison officer. “Not everything goes as planned the first time, and the way we find that out is through execution. We’re not going to find all the limiting factors to any kind of scenario unless we actually practice it. You can always get better at something, and the more opportunities we have to train, the better equipped we’re going to be for when we’re actually fighting a war.”

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