Seamless Reserve integration into joint readiness exercise

  • Published
  • By Maj. Ashley Walker
  • 913th Airlift Group

U.S. Air Force Reserve aircrew from the 327th Airlift Squadron joined efforts with their active duty counterparts to coordinate and conduct air mobility operations during an U.S. Army Joint Readiness Training event, Fort Polk, Louisiana, April 15, 2021.

This event not only provided tactical airlift for U.S. Army personnel and equipment needed for their deployment readiness exercise but also included aircrew training. Reserve and active duty Airmen from 19th Airlift Wing based out of Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, and 317th Airlift Wing based out of Dyess AFB, Texas, incorporated threat reaction scenarios, aircraft formation training and accomplished engine running offloads with oversized cargo.

“It takes incredible skill to coordinate with various agencies to deliver combat capabilities at the right place, right time,” said Maj. Eric Dueno, 913th Operations Support Squadron director of tactics. “Not only did we join into a 16-ship formation while enroute, but we also uploaded oversized cargo, and conducted radar threat training. We maximized this opportunity to increase our readiness and operational capabilities.”

During the exercise, the team transported personnel, a variety of 16 medium tactical vehicles, and cargo to support the U.S. Army 46th Engineer Battalion and 519th Military Police Battalion.

“Our Reserve unit has a whole lineup of experience aviators who are able to jump in and deliver agile combat airlift when called upon,” said Capt. Shane Barnette, 913 OSS standardization and evaluation liaison officer. “To the warfighter, our capabilities are indistinguishable from our active duty counterparts.”

The joint readiness exercises enable various units to train together to ensure interoperability for future operations. A central objective is to practice rapidly inserting a ground force into an area and build up a combat capability.

“This is one of many ways joint forces can compete, deter and win in a future near-peer fight,” said Dueno. “We continue to execute today’s missions while developing tactics and procedure to win tomorrow’s future fight.”