Altus AFB Airmen, Fort Sill Soldiers airlift rocket system for training exercise

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Kayla Christenson and Airman 1st Class Miyah Gray
  • 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

Airmen with the 97th Operations Group and 97th Mission Support Group teamed up with Soldiers from Fort Sill, to complete a joint training exercise, May 25-26.

Two C-17 Globemaster III aircrews airlifted cargo from Altus Air Force Base, to Fort Sill, including two M270 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems. Upon arrival, the MLRS fired six rockets.

“The Army’s role in this exercise was to prepare us for possible aerial operations with the Air Force,” said Capt. Austin Cibik, 2-4 Field Artillery Regiment assistant operations officer. “It gives us a chance to experience loading Multiple Launch Rocket Systems onto aircraft, downloading them and conducting air-land raid operations.”

First Lt. Lauren Rogers, 97th Logistics Readiness Squadron flight commander, said the MLRS provided a unique learning opportunity for her team, because it is a piece of equipment that the 97th LRS rarely gets to load.

“The majority of my flight and the Logistic Readiness Squadron as a whole are first-term Airmen,” she said. “We encourage them to learn their job here with these specific opportunities where they get to learn what they might do at an aerial port squadron.”

The Soldiers also trained on loading, downloading and firing the MLRS loading immediately after the aircraft landed.

“This exercise was a way to test our capabilities, along with strengthening our partnership with the Air Force,” said Sgt. 1st Class Colby Robertson, 2-4 Field Artillery Regiment battalion master. “It’s also a really good way to build morale for the unit because Soldiers who don’t end up in a high-margin unit may not get to experience an opportunity like this.”

Rogers said the exercise provided an opportunity for the Soldiers and Airmen involved to gain more experience and working knowledge of using the MLRS in a deployed environment.

“I think we have a great working relationship,” Rogers said. “It was very easy to talk with them and get the communications and information that we needed. Being here today, we learned a lot about how field artillery works and logistics works.”