To get a better understanding of what missions, units and capabilities their Air Force counterparts do on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Army senior leaders attended an Air Force orientation tour Feb. 9 on McChord Field.
“This may be the first time we’ve had a brief like this,” said Col. Leonard Kosinski, 62nd Airlift Wing commander. “(The Army is) doing a great job helping enable us to do our mission, but if we don’t explain it, you’re not going to know how to be able to better support us.”
Kosinski addressed the crowd of more than 30 Army officers with a Team McChord mission brief. The brief highlighted the mission partners the wing has on McChord Field, including the 446th Airlift Wing and the Western Air Defense Sector.
“I was very impressed with the variety and diversity of the mission in the 62nd AW and Air Force units at McChord,” said Col. Timothy King, I Corps deputy chief of staff. “I was also impressed with the level of integration of the Air National Guard and Reserve Component Airmen in the daily missions.”
The group also discussed Air Mobility Command’s upcoming premier exercise Mobility Guardian. Lieutenant Colonel Dan DeYoung, JBLM Mobility Guardian director, briefed about the exercise to the group of Army leadership to highlight the joint-partnership opportunities the exercise offers.
“The goal is to have as many joint-users as possible,” DeYoung said.
Army senior leaders from JBLM see Mobility Guardian as a great training tool for Soldiers.
“The Mobility Guardian exercise is a great opportunity for us to further our joint-training opportunities on JBLM,” said Col. Steven Johnson, 1st Special Forces Group deputy commanding officer. “I think it’s something where we can both (Army and Air Force) take advantage of.”
Mobility Guardian, scheduled to run from July 30 to Aug. 12, will simulate a disaster and is expected to challenge participants to hone their skills, executing core capabilities — airlift, air refueling, aeromedical evacuation and en route mobility support. King said the nature of the exercise will not only help the Air Force and Army train on moving people and cargo, it will help train in civil affairs matters as well.
“I think the upcoming exercise Mobility Guardian will give I Corps units a great opportunity to integrate in more joint-training,” King said. “Other opportunities for joint-training may include Defense Support to Civil Authorities as in a response to a natural disaster or emergency.”
The group then split in half and toured a static display of a C-17 Globemaster III and a tour at WADS. On the aircraft, Army officials were briefed on aeromedical evacuation, Prime Nuclear Airlift Force, Operation Deep Freeze and Joint Precision Airdrop.
“I think the one area I learned most about was their Prime Nuclear Airlift Force,” Johnson said. “I wasn’t aware they had that mission, but their skill and dedication to the program is impressive.”
The Army officials walked away with information about how the units on McChord Field are integrated and gained more knowledge about potential opportunities to work together in the future.
“The crews are ready, willing and able to support any operation,” said Col. Rich Cleveland, I Corps chief of operations. “The opportunity to train with the 62nd AW will increase unit readiness with continued opportunities associated with deployment readiness and joint interoperability exercises.”