Team Fairchild deploys as Lead Expeditionary Wing for exercise Mobility Guardian 2023

  • Published
  • By Technical Sgt. Heather Clements
  • 92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

Airmen assigned to the 92nd Air Refueling Wing deployed as Lead Expeditionary Wing to Royal Australian Air Force Base Darwin, Australia, in support of exercise Mobility Guardian 2023, July 5-21, 2023.

A multinational endeavor, MG23 was the largest full-spectrum readiness exercise in Air Mobility Command history and featured seven participating countries – Australia, Canada, France, Japan, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States – operating approximately 70 mobility aircraft across multiple locations across a 3,000-mile exercise area.

“It should be evident by now that success of the Joint Force requires a capable and integrated Mobility Air Force,” said Gen. Mike Minihan, AMC commander. “MG23 will turn planned integration into operational integration within the theater, stretching MAF capabilities to meet further demands and protect shared international interest with our allies and partners.”

Each participating country had the opportunity to hone vital readiness skills and enhance interoperability in operationally limited environments across multiple mission areas. The training included airlift, aerial refueling, aeromedical evacuation, the Global Air Mobility Support System, command and control, and humanitarian and disaster assistance.

“One of the big challenges of operating in the Indo-Pacific is the flow of aircraft and personnel into a theater in which we don’t get to exercise that often from home station,” said Lt. Col. David Clark, 384th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron force element lead.

Members of the 384th EARS deployed with the 92ARW to perform air refueling in the Indo-Pacific region and put their practice of endurance missions to the test alongside their KC-46 Pegasus partners. Multiple 384th EARS KC-135 Stratotanker crews and jets refueled a KC-46, keeping the KC-46 in the air for 35 hours and enabling multiple aircraft to extend their flight operations.

“Our receivers can’t fly very long without tanker support,” explained Clark. “Endurance missions are strategically important to cover down on the tyranny of distance in the [Indo-Pacific] area of responsibility.”

From leading large-force drills exercising Agile Combat Employment and Multi-Capable Airmen to supporting the operationalization of the KC-46A Pegasus through KC-135 tanker support, Team Fairchild executed Air Mobility Command’s vision of generating an unprecedented level of readiness and advantage for the Joint Force, according to Col. Chesley Dycus, 92ARW commander.

“I could not be prouder of the total force team that has come together here at Darwin,” Dycus boasted. “Whether it’s fly, fix or support, this team has been thrown significant challenges with long days, and they’ve handled it exceptionally.”