JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. –
Ten C-17 Globemaster IIIs from the 437th Airlift Wing and the 315th Airlift Wing took off from Joint Base Charleston - Air Base as part of a large formation exercise May 26, 2016, to provide support for America's Global Response Force.
The aircraft formation was part of a larger annual mobility exercise known as Crescent Reach 2016 which also supports the U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne Division's 'All American Week' celebration at Fort Bragg, N.C.
"This exercise demonstrates our ability to integrate with the 82nd Airborne Division and other partners to accomplish whatever mission our nation requires of us," said Col. John Lamontagne, 437th Airlift Wing commander. "America's Global Response Force provides combatant commanders with critical options to respond to international crises. Providing those options requires trained and validated support from its Air Force partners from across the nation. We're all coming together to deliver Rapid Global Mobility-Now--giving our nation the ability to respond anywhere in the world in a matter of hours."
The LFE was also part of an overall JB Charleston exercise to test combat readiness and capability.
Earlier in the week Airmen throughout the installation took part in a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear, or CBRN, exercise, an aircraft decontamination overview and a mobility exercise testing the base's response to deploying personnel and equipment.
More than 100 passengers and 40 tons of equipment were prepared for deployment during the mobility portion of the exercise.
"The (mobility exercise) is not only a test for our deploying members, it is also a test for the unit deployment managers," said Bobby Degregorio, 628th Logistics Readiness Squadron installation deployment officer. "This exercise shows we have the capabilities to deploy members and equipment on a mass scale in a short amount of time."
The ten C-17s flew to Pope Army Airfield, North Carolina, to meet with two other C-17s from JB Charleston, where they conducted airdrops and low-level tactical training. Paratroopers and equipment were dropped to simulate a Joint Forcible Entry of the Global Response Force.
"Everything is going well," said Col. Jimmy Canlas, 437th AW vice commander, about the start of the exercise. Canlas commended "our maintainers who have been working around the clock for the last four days generating our airplanes. We are going to load up the 82nd Airborne and demonstrate we can drop the Global Response Force anywhere at any given time. That's what we are proving today."
In addition to the JB Charleston C-17 aircraft, other participating aircraft included: two C-17s from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., two C-130 Hercules from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, one C-130 from Rhode Island Air National Guard, two C-130s from Charlotte Air National Guard, N.C., two KC-135 Stratotankers from MacDill AFB, Fla., and Rickenbacker ANG, Ohio and two A-10 Warthogs and one J-STARS aircraft from Robins AFB, Ga.
(Editors note: Marvin Krause contributed to this story.)