HomeNewsArticle Display

Airlift unit tests mettle in joint Patriot Palm exercise

315th CRF tests mettle in joint-service training mission Patriot Palm

Air transportation specialists with the 81st Aerial Port Squadron at Joint Base Charleston, S.C., secure a trailer with tiedown chains on a C-17 Globemaster III Jan. 23, 2019. The APS members deployed with the 315th Contingency Response Flight from Joint Base Charleston, S.C., to the South Pacific in support of Exercise Patriot Palm. (U.S. Air Force photo by 1st Lt. Rashard Coaxum)

315th CRF tests mettle in joint-service training mission Patriot Palm

A team of loadmasters and air transportation specialists with the 315th Contingency Response Flight at Joint Base Charleston, S.C., prepare to upload a generator onto a C-17 Globemaster III Jan, 23, 2019. The 315th CRF deployed to the South Pacific in support of Exercise Patriot Palm. (U.S. Air Force photo by 1st Lt. Rashard Coaxum)

315th CRF tests mettle in joint-service training mission Patriot Palm

An air transportation specialist with the 315th Contingency Response Flight at Joint Base Charleston, S.C., checks the tightness of a tiedown chain aboard a C-17 Globemaster III before takeoff Jan. 23, 2019. The CRF deployed to the South Pacific in support of Exercise Patriot Palm. (U.S. Air Force photo by 1st Lt. Rashard Coaxum)

MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII, Hawaii -- A 315th Airlift Wing unit finished its most recent joint-service training exercise Jan. 29, at Marine Corps Base Hawaii.

Teaming up with Federal Emergency Management Agency, the FBI, Army, Coast Guard and Marine Corps, the 315th Contingency Response Flight completed Exercise Patriot Palm, a joint-service emergency and natural disaster response exercise, coordinated by the Air Force Reserve. The event is designed to integrate first responders from federal, state and local agencies, and the military by providing rapid response training.

"We’re here at Patriot Palm exercising our capability to rapidly deploy and set up mobility operations in austere locations,” said Maj. Michael McDonald, 315th CRF contingency response exercise commander. "We are also training our government brother agencies such as the FBI, Coast Guard and Army to be able to prepare their cargo and fly on military airlift aircraft.”

Where it all starts

A number of key things needed to occur at mission start to ensure the success of operations, including communications.

“For exercises like Patriot Palm, where we are simulating providing support during an emergency or natural disaster, we need to establish air-to-air communications so we can communicate with aircraft, as well as air-to-ground communications with other event players at the different ground locations,” said Tech. Sgt. Gregory McClain, 315th CRF radio frequency transmission journeyman. “When we set up communications, we give our command and control the ability to talk to all the mission resources, maximizing the span of mission control.”

To simulate real-world events, the teams set up command and control within minutes of arriving at the three separate exercise locations across the Hawaiian Islands.
From there, airfield management stood up and mission operations began.

Teams provided air transportation ground support, moved cargo and vehicles and flew aeromedical training missions, simulating real-world emergency and disaster response.

Key mission players

Between the planning and operational phases of the exercise, the CRF worked with key federal agencies and military branches to make the mission a success. At play were FEMA, the FBI, Army military intelligence personnel and a Coast Guard maritime safety and security team.

Soldiers were able to refresh critical skills for the rapid movement of equipment and personnel. For the Coast Guard, the exercise provided an opportunity to interface and integrate rapid response sea operations with airlift capability in a way never attempted before.

“The asset we brought to the mission is a 29-foot RB-S II response boat, which is new to our unit and hasn’t travelled via military airlift yet,” said Lt. j.g. Eric Juback, Coast Guard’s maritime safety and security team operations officer. “This is the first time in the history of the (Defense Department) we are moving this model boat on a C-17 aircraft, which is an amazing accomplishment we are extremely proud of pioneering.”

Responsible for maritime protection and security throughout the U.S., the Honolulu-based team previously had to use smaller boats and make multiple trips via a C-130 Hercules to get their gear and vehicles to a response.

With the C-17 Globemaster III's rapid mobility, large payload and length, the MSST can now move it all in one fell swoop to respond to national disasters like what was needed for Hurricane Katrina and other emergencies like it, Juback said.

“We sometimes are notified to mobilize in an eight-hour window, so this capability allows us to grow our capability to be able to get anywhere in the nation quickly,” he said.

The final outcome

Outside of the joint-service partners at play, Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina, and March Air Reserve Base, California, Aerospace Evacuation Squadron teams worked in concert on the medical side of the exercise, exchanging knowledge and building important partnerships, according to Capt. Lacie Jacobs, a 315th AES medical corps officer on the mission.

Air transportation teams with the 81st Aerial Port Squadron at JB Charleston completed a number of training objectives. Teams got the chance to load personnel, cargo, sea and land vehicles.

“This training was very important because I’ve seen firsthand the impact it can have on human lives,” McDonald said. “I grew up in Florida, I’ve survived hurricanes. I’ve seen the FEMA trucks rolling in with water bottles and food. Being on this side of it, it feels very good that I know that I’m being a part of bringing in those supplies, so this is a very fulfilling mission we are training for here.”

Engage

Facebook Twitter
RT @US_SOCEUR: A U.S. Air Force Logistics Readiness Airman connects fuel hoses to a MC-130J Commando II during Operation Rapid Forge in #Es
RT @AF_Wrestle: Thank you to Brig Gen Brook Leonard, a leader in the war in Iraq to defeat ISIS, for speaking to the team today about “Char…
RT @USEmbassyPH: READ: Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force and Commander, Pacific Air Forces, Visit Manila. @usairforce @PACAF #FriendsPar
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: Thank you, Dr. Nguyen Xuan Thang, for hosting today’s roundtable with Ho Chi Minh Nat’l Academy of Politics. We look f…
RT @AFSpace: #OTD in 1957 Lt. Col. David G. Simons, M.D., participated in the Manhigh II flight. The @usairforce used balloons to transport…
RT @AF_Falcons: .@AF_MSwim & @AF_WSwim took a summer trip through Europe staying on a @usairforce base for two weeks while visiting 4 diffe…
RT @AF_SBIR_STTR: About 20 or 30 companies will be selected to compete for up to $40 million at the Air Force Pitch Day for Space, planned…
RT @AFmuseum: Special thanks to TSgt.(Ret.) Richard Tung & his family for visiting! Tung was assigned to the 491st bomb group(h), 853rd Squ…
It's #NationalAviationDay! ✈️ #USAF has been a part of #aviation since its inception September 18, 1947. The… https://t.co/ESPaIUaJ1m
.@TeamEglin #Airmen drive innovation, increasing safety while saving money. https://t.co/xo30mkcHMg
RT @AFSpecOpsCmd: Callie is chillin’ with our CSAF 😎 @GenDaveGoldfein meets Callie, the only search-and-rescue dog in the @DeptofDefense,…
RT @AP_Top25: Secret's out on hard-hitting Air Force linebacker Kyle Johnson: He plans to attend graduate school, go through special forc…
Staff weather officers (SWO) from the 3d Weather Squadron were put to the test during a certification field exercis… https://t.co/wcGL2Dr2a1
RT @INDOPACOM: Man’s best friend is also his best protector, but even #MilitaryWorkingDogs need to retire eventually. The service members o…
RT @USAFHealth: Airmen with the 375th AES were headed to Travis AFB for a training mission, when a passenger on-board their commercial flig…
RT @AFW2: The @AFW2 just returned from the first-ever Warrior Care Event at USAFE! #Warriors are ready to repeat that sucess & build off th…
RT @USNationalGuard: On a frigid commute to work one morning, Master Sgt. John Lawrence, of the @OKGuard, approached a vehicle resting side…
RT @USAFRecruiting: Being a part of the @usairforce means to be a part of a total force. Join us LIVE on Wednesday at 2 p.m. CT to learn mo…
RT @PACAF: The closing ceremony for Pac Angel 19-3 #Mongolia brought together members from the U.S. military, Mongolian Armed Forces, @AusA