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Combat Airlifters prepare for Mobility Guardian '17

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. --

The Air Mobility Command’s largest exercise is set to kick off July 28, 2017 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. Team Little Rock Airmen from a variety of career fields are set to participate however, maintainers from the 19th Maintenance Group will lead the charge from the ground to ensure aircrews take flight.

According to AMC, Mobility Guardian 2017 will be the most realistic, real-world, scenario-driven exercise ever conducted.

Approximately 25 nations will participate in the two-week event as service members perform tasks often seen in deployed environments such as airdropping paratroopers and supplies, setting up remote airfields, accomplishing aeromedical evacuation missions and conducting aerial refueling.

Dozens of Team Little Rock Airmen have been working together and planning for the event for several months.

“It’s been about four years since we’ve moved this much cargo at once.”

The people, planes and cargo supplied by Team Little Rock will ensure aircraft are operational, improve interoperability with joint and allied partners and allow Airmen to train like they fight.

However, mission success would not be possible without the assistance of maintenance Airmen working around-the-clock.

The 19th MXG is tasked with leading the coordination and execution of maintenance operations during Mobility Guardian 2017.

“Our unit can be tasked to deploy at any time,” said Eugene Shelton, 19th MXG unit deployment manager. “So this is an outstanding training opportunity for us as well as other supporting units across base.”

A C-5 Galaxy, C-17 Globemaster and 10 C-130Js will be loaded by Team Little Rock Airmen with more than 100 troops and thousands of pounds of cargo, consisting of supplies and aircraft parts.

A loadmaster from the 15th Airlift Squadron at Joint Base Charleston, S.C. loads cargo onto a C-17 July 23, 2017, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. Eight Little Rock C-130Js will travel alongside the C-17 aircrew to participate in Mobility Guardian 2017, a massive joint exercise at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Harry Brexel)
A loadmaster from the 15th Airlift Squadron at Joint Base Charleston, S.C. loads cargo onto a C-17 July 23, 2017, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. Eight Little Rock C-130Js will travel alongside the C-17 aircrew to participate in Mobility Guardian 2017, a massive joint exercise at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Harry Brexel)
A loadmaster from the 15th Airlift Squadron at Joint Base Charleston, S.C. loads cargo onto a C-17 July 23, 2017, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. Eight Little Rock C-130Js will travel alongside the C-17 aircrew to participate in Mobility Guardian 2017, a massive joint exercise at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Harry Brexel) Mobility Guardian 2017
A loadmaster from the 15th Airlift Squadron at Joint Base Charleston, S.C. loads cargo onto a C-17 July 23, 2017, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. Eight Little Rock C-130Js will travel alongside the C-17 aircrew to participate in Mobility Guardian 2017, a massive joint exercise at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Harry Brexel)

“It’s been about four years since we’ve moved this much cargo at once,” Shelton said. “So this is a big deal.”

It’s estimated that around 100 sorties will fly out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord each day during the exercise.

Other bases participating in the exercise include Fairchild AFB, Washington; Altus AFB, Oklahoma; Dyess AFB, Texas; and Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina.

But when maintenance issues do arise, Little Rock’s Combat Airlifters will be the ones on the front lines. Airmen from the 19th MXG will certify that every aircraft component is maintained to the most precise standards.

Without them, pilots would be unable to fly safely and effectively in order to accomplish the mission.

Mobility Guardian 2017 will provide Team Little Rock Airmen with an unparalleled opportunity to put all of AMC’s capabilities to the test. The event creates a unique forum to share tactics, techniques and processes essential to maintaining readiness and sustainment in coalition campaigns around the globe.