FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. --
Fairchild Air Force Base hosted U.S. Airmen, Soldiers, and Marines, along with international partners from around the world, as they worked together to practice joint coalition operations in support of Air Mobility Command’s Mobility Guardian 2019 exercise, in Washington, Sept. 8-28.
Team Fairchild Airmen supported nearly every aspect of the exercise, which enhanced Air Mobility Command’s ability to conduct its four core missions – airlift, air refueling, aeromedical evacuation and global air mobility support.
“It was awesome hosting Mobility Guardian and being able to witness the joint operations between all of our international partners, the U.S. Army, and our world’s greatest Air Force,” said Col. Derek Salmi, 92nd Air Refueling Wing commander. “Team Fairchild Airmen did an amazing job out there and it was inspiring to see how strong we are individually, but more importantly, when we all come together and work together.”
Mobility Guardian 2019 featured training events such as aeromedical evacuations, chemical contamination response and decontamination procedures, Joint Forcible Entry and cargo drops, all to further improve the ability of coalition forces to respond during contingency operations anywhere in the world.
Airmen from the 92nd Logistics Readiness Squadron became the first to fill a Fuels Operational Readiness Capability Equipment mobile fuel bladder in an uncontested environment, which can prove to be a game-changing resource downrange where permanent facilities may not be available, enabling coalition forces to be more mobile and lethal.
“It can be dropped anywhere we need it,” said Staff Sgt. Michael Garrett, 92nd LRS FORCE technician. “We can meet up wherever it’s dropped, start assembling and have it ready as soon as gas arrives.”
Aeromedical evacuation was a priority focus with U.S. Airmen, Soldiers, and international partners working together to ensure they could quickly blend forces to treat wounded in contested environments. Seamlessly synchronizing efforts across forces is essential to providing timely treatment to critical patients in the field and to efficiently transport them to medical treatment facilities.
“Here at Mobility Guardian there are a lot of different objectives across the board, but as aeromedical evacuation, we’re just focusing on seeing what our capacities are; the main buzzword you could say is interoperability… figuring out how we can work together to be safe and bring our patients home in the best way possible, giving the best care we can,” said Staff Sgt. Tiffany Lefebre, 446th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron technician.
U.S. Soldiers and Airmen trained together during a highly-realistic JFE of a simulated enemy airfield, where Soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and Airmen seized the airfield and were followed by C-17 Globemaster III’s that delivered cargo to make the base sustainable and operational for U.S. forces and their allies.
“Everything you do with coalition and joint partners… it’s not like it used to be where the Army controls the land and the Air Force controls the air,” said U.S. Army Capt. James Sides, 82nd Airborne Division logistician. “We have to work together, especially as a coalition, now. Everyone is so interconnected, so you have to be able to play nice with each other.”
The exercise took place all over Washington and the Western U.S. and included almost 4,000 participants, however the bulk of the action took place at Fairchild. Due to the scope of the exercise, a dozen KC-135 Stratoankers were sent to March Air Reserve Base, California, to maintain Team Fairchild’s vital refueling mission and training.
Throughout MG ‘19, U.S. forces and international partners proved that working together strengthens their rapid global mobility, lethality, and preparedness. Team Fairchild’s mission is to provide responsive air refueling, and hosting an exercise like Mobility Guardian gives its Airmen the opportunity to expand their mission capabilities without leaving home.