By Capt. Stacy Gault
167th Airlift Wing
The 167th Airlift Wing recently teamed up with the 175th Wing, Maryland Air National Guard, to conduct their first agile combat employment exercise Feb. 17.
During the single-day exercise, cargo and Airmen were transported via a C-17 Globemaster III from Warfield Air National Guard Base at Martin State Airport, Baltimore, Md.,
to Martinsburg, W.Va. Two A-10C Thunderbolt II aircraft joined the equipment and personnel to mimic operations from a forward location.
Capt. Trebor Taylor, C-17 pilot and exercise planner said the primary goal was to help another unit. The objective was to transport their cargo and personnel to Martinsburg,
set up their equipment and operate out of this location, simulating an austere environment, and the exercise accomplished that.
“The unit is fully deployed forward and you’re able to take a chunk of your organic elements and move them elsewhere and be able to operate at both places,” he said.
“So essentially, you’re doing more with less.”
A forecasted snowstorm forced participants to shorten the exercise from two days to one, but Taylor said it created a secondary element to the training, requiring the
movement of cargo and people quicker, efficiently, and safely.
The ACE exercise also provided unique training opportunities to the C-17 aircrew and aerial port specialists, requiring them to work with equipment specifically for the A-10.
During the exercise Airmen moved 44,000 pounds of cargo, including MJ-1B/C Bomblifts, GF-7/E Ammo Loading Systems, and MHU-141 Bomb Trailers.
“It’s beneficial for everybody, not only the guys requesting it, but our guys are getting something out of it, too,” Taylor said.