MacDill AFB supports joint force exercise

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Ryan C. Grossklag
  • 6th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

The skies over MacDill Air Force Base buzzed with the sounds of HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopters as the base hosted a joint force deployment readiness exercise this month.

Using a C-5M Super Galaxy and two C-17 Globemaster III aircraft in a show of Total Force mobility, the 512th Airlift Wing from Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, and the 445th Airlift Wing from Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, transported the assets needed by the 305th Rescue Squadron from Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona.

Reserve Airmen and Army special forces Soldiers made the MacDill AFB Deployed Unit Complex their temporary home for the exercise as the location is ideal for operations taking place at the Avon Park Air Force Range. Resources available at MacDill AFB and the Tampa Bay area provide all the necessities for successful mission completion for the units.

“It’s been very beneficial being at MacDill AFB, especially with the facilities available here,” said an Army special forces captain who could not be named due to operational security. “Being here provides different environments than we are used to.”

The 305th RQS conducted readiness operations at Avon Park and over Tampa Bay. Working together honed the units’ deployment readiness.

“We don’t get as many chances to train with the Air Force, so integrating with the 305th RQS in the air and on the ground has been beneficial to our training,” the Army captain said.

The time spent at MacDill AFB was crucial for the aircrews to get up to date with the training qualifications.

“We don’t really get a chance to do a lot of water work in Tucson, (Arizona), so we’re here to get water certification and train in an unfamiliar area to help better prepare for deployments,” said 1st Lt. Scott Lauth, a 305th RQS HH-60 Pave Hawk pilot. “You need to be able to be ready at all times for what needs to be done, but if you’re going to get a bit better, you have to be doing it consistently. That’s the only way to improve.”

With a joint force exercise involving several units across the Department of Defense comes meticulous planning to ensure every aspect of the training day runs smoothly.

“There’s a huge mobility piece that many of our squad had to figure out,” Lauth said. “From getting the aircraft here and unloaded and maintenance making sure that they’re ready for every flight, every day, it’s a huge workload just to make sure that all those things come together in harmony.”

MacDill provides unmatched installation and mission support in supporting outside units.

“It’s been awesome that we’re so close to the water, and we can get out almost every day,” Lauth said. “MacDill (AFB) and the area has just been really accommodating to us being able to go out and complete our training, come back and go out multiple times a day. It’s been great training, and I look forward to doing it in the future if we get the chance.”

It takes a lot of heavy lifting to host a wide range of missions, but the team at MacDill AFB ensures the best quality support anytime, anywhere.