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NEWS | May 21, 2021

Air Force, Army showcase joint capabilities during Mobility Guardian

By Senior Airman Aaron Irvin, 19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

ALPENA, Mich. -- Air Mobility Command partnered with the Kentucky and Michigan Army National Guard to transport and deploy M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems during Exercise Mobility Guardian, May 15-27, 2021.

Mobility Guardian includes AMC’s first large-scale training on Agile Combat Employment, setting the standard for the role mobility aircraft plays in projecting the joint force.

“This exercise is all about demonstrating the ability to integrate with our joint partners and respond to threats in an expeditious and flexible manner based on a dynamic and complex battlespace,” said Capt. Brian Vos, 40th Airlift Squadron pilot.

During phase I of the exercise, the objective was to rapidly deploy the all-terrain weather precision fire support system to a simulated austere location via C-17 Globemaster III and C-130J Super Hercules airlift.

“Working with the Air Force really puts us in a different playground that makes us more mobile and agile,” said Staff Sgt. Nathan Adams, 1st Battalion, 623rd Field Artillery Regiment, Kentucky Army National Guard field artillery crew member. “With the support of mobility aircraft, we expand our range of employment exponentially.”

Combining a HIMARS, which is capable of operating on almost any terrain, and a mobility aircraft, which is agile enough to touch down in many atypical landing zones, results in a more adaptable and experienced joint force prepared for the future fight.

“A lot of what we’re simulating here is peer or near-peer threats,” Vos said. “Facing an enemy with more strategic global threats or better early warning systems is vastly different than anything we’ve looked at in the past 20 years.”

As the focus shifts to highly-capable near-peer adversaries, this exercise allowed Airmen and Soldiers to work together, learn more about each other’s individual branch processes and expand upon capabilities needed to stay one step ahead of the competition.

“We get to see the different perspectives and proficiencies both branches bring to the table and how we can work together to accomplish the same goal,” Adams said. “Everyone involved is reaping the benefits of the training from this exercise. I’m going to take what I learned so far and pass it on to my soldiers as a learning tool in the future.”

While exercises such as Mobility Guardian challenge Airmen with complex challenges and offers a realistic training environment to experiment with emerging concepts – it doesn’t evaluate in a pass or fail sense, but rather a validation of lessons learned leading to a more adaptable and resilient force.