Coalition Airdrop Efforts during Mobility Guardian 23

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Kadielle Shaw
  • Air Mobility Command Public Affairs

During Air Mobility Command's largest exercise with Allies and partners, service members from several countries conducted coalition airdrops in the Indo-Pacific on July 12, 2023.

Mobility Guardian 23 Airmen completed a plethora of mission-essential tasks, including coalition airdrops, Aeromedical Evacuation, Airlift, Air Refueling, Global Air Mobility Support System, and command and control in a Joint environment with Allies and partners.

Airdrop is a complex, but effective operation often used in humanitarian relief efforts or in combat operations to deliver supplies or troops to remote or dangerous areas. These efforts are a valuable military capability that can be used to support a wide range of operations, especially during an exercise as large scale as MG23.

"Coalition airdrop is where we plan and operate across multiple countries to get a massive amount of equipment into a remote or damaged location," said U.S. Air Force Capt. Michael Thomas, AMC Lead C-130 Hercules air planner. "These airdrops are critical because it expands our logistics capability past just U.S. assets and allows us to deliver the right effects at the right time."

During MG23, the U.S. along with Allies and partners conducted a total of 16 airdrops all within one formation over the Northern Mariana Islands, demonstrating their ability to deliver equipment with speed and accuracy. Crews conducted a 10-ship formation from five different countries to airdrop equipment into Tinian, U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. During this airdrop, several different aircraft from the allied countries were used, including U.S. C-130J, Australian C-130J, UK A-400M, Japanese C-130H, Canadian C-130J, U.S. C-17, Australian C-17, and a France A-400M.

"This has all been a rare, but essential training opportunity for not only U.S. aircrew but for all countries," said Thomas. "It's given us a chance to build strong relationships with our Allies and partners so we are always ready to work together if we have to execute a rapid airfield re-supply operationally in the future."