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Air Force supports Army during Battalion Mass Tactical Week

Joint Base Charleston C-17 Globemaster IIIs and C-130J Super Hercules assigned to Little Rock Air Force Base airdrop paratroopers onto a landing zone at lowlight conditions during Battalion Mobility Tactical Week at Fort Bragg, N.C., Aug. 20, 2019. Battalion Mass Tactical Week is a joint exercise involving the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Army designed to enhance service members’ abilities by practicing contingency operations in a controlled environment. The exercise incorporated three C-130J Super Hercules assigned to Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, three C-17 Globemaster IIIs assigned to Joint Base Charleston, S.C. and Army paratroopers assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division of Fort Bragg, N.C. The exercise allowed all parties to quickly and safely complete training tasks, such as personnel and cargo air drops, to prepare joint forces to operate during global mobility missions.

Air Force C-17 Globemaster IIIs and C-130J Super Hercules airdrop paratroopers onto a landing zone in low-light conditions during Battalion Mobility Tactical Week at Fort Bragg, N.C., Aug. 20, 2019. Battalion Mass Tactical Week is a joint exercise designed to enhance service members’ abilities by practicing contingency operations in a controlled environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cody R. Miller)

A Joint Base Charleston C-17 Globemaster III airdrops equipment onto a landing zone during Battalion Mobility Tactical Week at Fort Bragg, N.C., Aug. 20, 2019. Battalion Mass Tactical Week is a joint exercise involving the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Army designed to enhance service members’ abilities by practicing contingency operations in a controlled environment. The exercise incorporated three C-130J Super Hercules assigned to Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, three C-17 Globemaster IIIs assigned to Joint Base Charleston, S.C. and Army paratroopers assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division of Fort Bragg, N.C. The exercise allowed all parties to quickly and safely complete training tasks, such as personnel and cargo air drops, to prepare joint forces to operate during global mobility missions.

An Air Force C-17 Globemaster III airdrops equipment onto a landing zone during Battalion Mass Tactical Week at Fort Bragg, N.C., Aug. 20, 2019. Battalion Mass Tactical Week is a joint exercise involving the Air Force and Army designed to enhance service members’ abilities by practicing contingency operations in a controlled environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cody R. Miller)

U.S. Air Force Capt. Peter Callo, an air mobility liaison officer assigned to the 621st Mobility Support Operations Squadron from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., inspects communications equipment during Battalion Mobility Tactical Week at Fort Bragg, N.C., Aug. 20, 2019. Battalion Mass Tactical Week is a joint exercise involving the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Army designed to enhance service members’ abilities by practicing contingency operations in a controlled environment. The exercise incorporated three C-130J Super Hercules assigned to Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, three C-17 Globemaster IIIs assigned to Joint Base Charleston, S.C. and Army paratroopers assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division of Fort Bragg, N.C. The exercise allowed all parties to quickly and safely complete training tasks, such as personnel and cargo air drops, to prepare joint forces to operate during global mobility missions.

Air Force Capt. Peter Callo, a 621st Mobility Support Operations Squadron air mobility liaison officer from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., inspects communications equipment during Battalion Mass Tactical Week at Fort Bragg, N.C., Aug. 20, 2019. Battalion Mass Tactical Week is a joint exercise involving the Air Force and Army designed to enhance service members’ abilities by practicing contingency operations in a controlled environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cody R. Miller)

JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. (AFNS) --

Airmen from Joint Base Charleston and Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, supported Battalion Mass Tactical Week at Pope Army Airfield, North Carolina, Aug. 18-23.

BMTW is a joint exercise designed to enhance servicemembers’ abilities by practicing contingency operations in a controlled environment. The exercise incorporated three Air Force C-130J Super Hercules, three Air Force C-17 Globemaster IIIs and Army paratroopers assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The exercise allowed all parties to quickly complete training tasks, such as personnel drops and cargo air drops, to better prepare joint forces to operate during global mobility missions.

“We do these types of exercises quarterly throughout the year,” said Lt. Col. Justin Warner, 437th Operations Support Group director of operations and the BMTW air mission commander. “The goal of the BMTW is to have a joint collaboration between the Air Force and the Army. We want not just C-17s, but also other airframes to take part in the same formations to support the Army in whatever their specific scheme of maneuvers may entail. This is a great training opportunity for airlift loadmasters and pilots to see and understand Army procedures, tactics and how they’re organized.”

Starting in 1917, the 82nd Airborne Division’s mission has evolved to strategically deploy, conduct forcible entry parachute assault and secure key objectives in support of U.S. national interests within 18 hours of notification. However, without the help of transport aircraft, the 82nd Airborne wouldn’t be able to execute this mission and get where they need to go. Air Force assets like the C-130J and C-17 allow for soldiers to safely get to their drop points and complete the mission.

While working with the 82nd Airborne Soldiers, Airmen were able to complete training tasks with a focus on joint operations, readiness and interagency operability.

“Any type of repetition to help us stay proficient and current helps aircrew,” said Air Force Staff Sgt. Justin Hampton, a 16th Airlift Squadron loadmaster. “We could be deployed in a matter of weeks or days so training like this really helps us prepare for anything we might face while in a deployed environment. Coming out to work with Army is great because we get to learn their way of doing things and how to work in a joint environment.”

BMTW implemented a mixed formation with the C-130Js and C-17s to target small drop zones in a restricted and austere environment, challenging the expertise of the mission planners and those executing the mission. Despite challenges of weather, timelines and effective communication, participants continued to be flexible and resilient to successfully complete BMTW.

“A mission is only as good as the plan that’s been developed for it,” Warner said. “The planners that have worked here to learn both Army and Air Force terminology and understand how both branches communicate have greatly enhanced our ability to get us to that next level of training and execution.”

Exercises like BMTW are held regularly to keep Airmen current and up-to-date on current joint tactics. This specific BMTW was to prepare participants for the upcoming Exercise Mobility Guardian 2019, Air Mobility Command’s premier, large-scale mobility exercise. Mobility Guardian, which is scheduled for Sept. 8–28, provides a realistic training environment for more than 2,500 Airmen to hone their skills with joint and international partners and keep a competitive edge in future conflicts.

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