Military News

Friday, October 09, 2015

62nd AW hits the mark during EDRE

by Staff Sgt. Tim Chacon
62nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs

10/9/2015 - JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. -- Within three seconds of the scheduled time and 25 yards of the point of impact, Airmen of the 62nd Airlift Wing from Joint Base Lewis-McCord, Wash., were able to drop more than 90,000 pounds of cargo via air drops Sept. 27, at White Sands, N.M.

This very accurate and on time delivery was one part of the Emergency Deployment Readiness Exercise conducted by Airmen from the 62nd AW and Soldiers from the 82nd ABD. The 62nd AW Airmen also delivered more than 500 airborne Soldiers from static line jumps and delivered more than 50 soldiers and four Humvees via air-land, Semi-Prepared Runway Operations.

The EDRE was one part of the Network Integration Evaluation 16.1. The objectives were to conduct geographically separated joint mission planning, deliver heavy platforms and static line jumpers via air-drop operations and deliver follow on forces via air-land operations.

The three C-17 Globemaster III aircraft from the 62nd AW flew to Pope Army Airfield, N.C., Sept. 25 and staged for delivery of the 82nd ABD troops and equipment.

"Joint exercises like NIE 16.1 allow both the Army and Air Force to build better tactics, techniques, and procedures," said Capt. Chris Martin, 10th Airlift Squadron operations flight commander. "We train like we will fight in future air operations."

The uniqueness of this mission lies in the planning process.

"Normally these types of exercises are tasked by Air Mobility Command as Joint Airborne Air Transportability Training and a mission planning cell will stand up at Pope AAF the week prior to plan the entire mission," said Martin. "In this case mission planning was completed from geographically separated locations, communicated and coordinated via daily teleconferences."

The 62nd AW crews turned the traditionally difficult tasks of these kinds of missions into the most accurately executed portions.

"The most critical times are usually during the alert sequence with loading cargo, fueling, validating flight plans and maintaining time tolerances for execution," said Martin. "However, in this case, {the} execution was very smooth and the plan came together nicely."

The successfulness of air-drop operations were mirrored by the air-land operations.

"I have been a part of SPRO planning cells before, but I have never had the opportunity to execute one," said Capt. J.D. Shaw, 8th Airlift Squadron C-17 pilot.  "I think it went as planned which means it went well. What we encountered was in line with what was briefed to us, so that helps out a bunch.

"The key to making joint missions successful is proper planning with adequate integration.  We can't give, the Army in this case, what they want unless we have someone integrated in their planning and vice-versa.  We talk different languages and our missions differ a lot, but we are still all one team one fight which drives the fact home that we must have proper integration and coordinating time. When this happens, we showcase our full military power."

The three 62nd AW aircraft were only part of the 14 different aircraft from seven different Air Force Bases across the country that participated in the exercise. Along with C-17s, several C-130J Super Hercules and C-130 Hercules participated.

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