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.

Arlington Departs for Maiden Deployment



By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Stevie Tate

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- Sailors and Marines manned the rails as the amphibious transport dock ship USS Arlington (LPD 24) set sail from Naval Station Norfolk Tuesday morning for its maiden deployment.

The San Antonio-class ship and its nearly 1,200 Sailors and Marines are scheduled to conduct operations in the U.S. Navy's 6th and 5th Fleet areas of responsibility as part of an ongoing rotation of U.S. forces supporting maritime security operations in international waters around the globe.

"I've seen this crew grow and tighten as they have transitioned from a pre-commissioning mindset to where we are now, on the doorstep of Arlington's maiden deployment," said Command Master Chief Brian McDonough. "The fact that this is Arlington's maiden deployment is very significant in that this is an event that will only happen once, and it is great to finally see all of the work this crew has put into this ship throughout the training cycle culminate in this historic event."

Family and friends were given the opportunity to participate in a farewell reception with a prayer from the command chaplain and words from the commanding officer before saying their last goodbyes. The crew then manned the rails as the ship pulled out of Naval Station Norfolk to begin the transit across the Atlantic Ocean.

"This deployment is the culmination of all of the hard work that we've done to get the ship and the crew ready for deployment," said Commanding Officer Capt. Sean Bailey. "We will be exercising all of the skills that we have practiced and refined during this last year of training, and my expectation is that Arlington's maiden deployment will be both a mission success as well as professionally and personally rewarding for its crew."

Secretary of the Navy Approves Strategic Plan for Maritime Domain Awareness



By Brian Leshak, Office of the Oceanographer of the Navy

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, the Department of Defense (DoD) executive agent for Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA), approved the DoD Strategic Plan for MDA Sept. 23.

The plan closely aligns with the 2013 National Maritime Domain Awareness Plan, which reaffirms our nation's long-standing maritime leadership role as a source of national power.

"We're elated to have the secretary of the Navy's approval of the strategic plan as the DoD executive agent," said Rear Adm. Timothy Gallaudet, oceanographer of the Navy and director of the Office of the DoD Executive Agent for MDA. "The strategic plan will further advance the department's efforts to enable timely, accurate and informed decision making by accelerating our ability to collect, fuse, analyze and disseminate maritime data, information and intelligence relating to potential threats to the security, safety, economy or the environment of the United States and its people."

The strategic plan provides a departmental vision and common way ahead for advancing MDA. More specifically, the plan will help synchronize DoD's efforts with national policy and investments in MDA; expand and reinforce ongoing efforts with interagency and international partners; guide future MDA investments while minimizing redundancies; and provide a basis for enhanced decision making across the maritime community.

The plan was a joint effort with partnering agencies that include the Offices of Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, and the Deputy Undersecretary of the Navy.

"In the coming weeks, my office will continue to engage with Navy, DoD, U.S. Government and international partners to implement the goals and objectives outlined in the strategic plan," said Gallaudet. "Working together with our close partners in the MDA community, we will collectively advance our shared capabilities which support our collective abilities to defend the homeland, engage our partners, ensure access, sustain presence, and if necessary, to project power within the maritime environment."

U.S. and Peruvian Forces Conduct Bilateral Exercise



By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Joshua DuFrane

USS George Washington Public Affairs

PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) -- Aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73), Carrier Strike Group (CSG) Nine, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) Two and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) Two Three conducted a bilateral exercise with the Peruvian Navy and Air Force Sept. 30 through Oct. 3 as part of Southern Seas 2015.

The bilateral exercise helps regional forces work together to address shared maritime security priorities during a series of cooperative training events and subject matter exchanges.

"The opportunity for our two navies to train together is important," said Rear Adm. Lisa Franchetti, commander, CSG-9. "During this exercise, our strike group trained with Peruvian Navy and Air Force partners across the full spectrum of maritime operations to include anti-submarine warfare, air defense and maritime interdiction. Through this type of focused training, we develop the capability to respond to all types of threats."

Their integration aims to improve joint interoperability, carrier strike group operations and to practice war fighting against various threats.
"In a bilateral exercise you have the opportunity to plan, conduct and debrief," said Franchetti. "We can tailor the exercise to achieve objectives for both nations. We work together to ensure we are trained to handle all types of situations."

During Southern Seas 2015, U.S. forces will also conduct two multilateral exercises with participants from Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico.

"Anytime you have a language barrier or an opportunity to work with a foreign country it benefits our training," said Capt. Fernando Garcia, CSG-9 operations officer. "It gives us a better cultural understanding of their country. It also benefits their training because they see our tactics, procedures and techniques which help them to gain experience."

This is the first time in several years an aircraft carrier with an embarked air wing and destroyer squadron is transiting around South America.
Washington, embarked CSG-9, CVW-2 and DESRON-23 are deployed as part of Southern Seas 2015 which seeks to enhance interoperability, increase regional stability and build and maintain relationships with countries throughout the region through joint, multinational and interagency exchanges and cooperation.