19 AW delivers TacAir Anywhere during JPMRC 24-01

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Julian Atkins
  • 19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The 19th Airlift Wing recently participated in the Joint Pacific Multinational Readiness Center 24-01 training exercise throughout Hawaii, Oct. 26 through Nov. 10, 2023.

Led by the U.S. Army’s 25th Infantry Division, JPMRC 24-01 provides realistic, tough, dynamic, and challenging training that results in capable and ready forces, bolsters Allies and partners and ensures that we are prepared for any contingency or conflict. The exercise includes over 5,300 training participants from across the U.S. Joint Force, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Indonesia, and Thailand.

During the exercise, Airmen from the 41st Airlift Squadron and the 19th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Knights Aircraft Maintenance Unit, had the opportunity to experience unparalleled joint training environments and multinational training opportunities in conditions that accurately mimic operational settings. 

“The 19th AW was the means of dynamic joint maneuver in this exercise, providing TacAir Anywhere in the form of airdrop and airland delivery,” said Capt. Matt Frizzell, 41st AS C-130 weapons officer and evaluator pilot. 

The 41st AS showcased their tactical airlift capabilities through a variety of operations such as outsized cargo loading operations, military free-fall drops of special operations troops, and personnel and cargo transport and drops leading to the largest airdrop in Hawaii to date.

Additionally, the 41st AS conducted specialized fueling operations, including hot pit refueling, wet-wing defueling, and Forward Area Refueling Point operations. All SFO operations involved the transfer of fuel, either in or out of a C-130 aircraft, while the engines were still running. 

“FARP enables Air Mobility Command to expand its role in support of the rapid global mobility adaptive basing construct,” said Capt. Scott Mlcoch, 41st AS C-130 instructor pilot. “This operational capability assists joint service partners in agile combat employment by reducing the logistical footprint required to sustain fueling operations.” 

Throughout the FARP operation, Airmen worked together with U.S. Marines from the Marine Wing Support Squadron 174, Marine Aircraft Group 24, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, to refuel an MV-22B Osprey assigned to the Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 268, MAG-24, 1st MAW. 

“During execution with the Marines, we had to adjust our tactics, techniques, and procedures due to different fueling equipment than our crew has trained on previously,” said Mlcoch. “By practicing with a service other than the Air Force, we were able to learn and further adjust our training.”

Exercising elements of agile combat employment with joint service members increases our lethality, enhances interoperability, and enables us to operate from locations with varying levels of capacity; ensuring Airmen and aircrews are postured to respond across the spectrum of conflict.

Tasked with the critical role of generating and maintaining the eight C-130Js participating in the exercise, the 19th AMXS provided around-the-clock services to keep the fleet flying safely and efficiently while guaranteeing the aircraft were also ready to launch at a moment’s notice.

“Maintenance ensured the timely delivery of aircraft to our operators. If something breaks, we fix it, if something is stopping us, we find a way around it,” said 1st Lt. Oberon-Coltrane Peter, the AMU officer in charge during the exercise.  “We had the opportunity to test the concept of operating from a central location, as well as smaller airstrips to extend our reach and capabilities across miles of ocean, ultimately in the goal of increasing survivability while generating combat power. As we pivot to the Pacific, it is imperative that we understand how to effectively utilize this hub-and-spoke model."

Additionally, JPMRC 24-01 served as a Mission Generation Force Element deployment certification event for the 41st AS and the 19th AMXS, validating that the units are ready to meet worldwide deployment requirements, stated Frizzell. 

The Air Force Force Generation 24-month rotational cycle is broken down in four 6-month phases including: prepare, ready, available to commit, and reset. This model aims to reconstitute Air Mobility Command’s manpower, aircraft, and equipment into force elements that train, deploy, and recover as cohesive units throughout each phase of the cycle.

The 41st AS and the 19th AMXS are currently in the “ready” phase and this exercise further ensured their readiness for the upcoming “available to commit” phase, said Frizzell.  

During the exercise, Royal New Zealand Air Force aviators consisting of maintenance personnel and aircrew also embedded with the 19th AW. Since February of 2023, members of the RNZAF have been training at Little Rock AFB as the New Zealand Defence Force transitions from the C-130H to the C-130J-30 model. 

Our close relationship with a strong network of allies and partner nations is a key competitive advantage in competition and conflict. JPMRC was an opportunity to further strengthen these bonds to sharpen our competitive edge, secure common interests, and promote shared values for a free and open Indo-Pacific.  

“The RNZAF is a critical partner to the United States, not only as a strategic basing area within the Pacific but also for the expertise and professionalism their personnel display,” said Peter. “They fully integrated within our unit, helping us perform maintenance on our aircraft, while also learning the J-model and our methods. The bonds we build now with our Allies are laying the foundation of success for when game time comes, brick by brick.”

The 19th AW has a laser focus on executing today’s worldwide airlift missions while developing our readiness for the future fight and exercises like these prepare our Airmen to develop a more expeditionary mindset aligned with the changing threat environment.

JPMRC 24-01 further ensured Team Little Rock’s capability to quickly mobilize and deploy forces, sustain a high-intensity operational tempo, and deliver Rapid Global Mobility at a moment’s notice.