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Cascadia contingencies incorporate joint training

Airman looks over top of plane through plastic bubble.

Staff Sgt. George Childres, 41st Airlift Squadron loadmaster, scans the skies over Oregon July 14, 2018, at Kingsley Field, Ore. Childres worked to keep F-15Cs from Kingsley Field, Ore., in sight during engagements. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rhett Isbell)

Two planes go by a stationary plane.

F-15Cs taxi onto the ramp July 14, 2018, at Kingsley Field, Ore. Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., Airmen went to Kingsley Field, Ore. to assist them in learning how to best sustain airlift. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rhett Isbell)

Airman flies plane.

Capt. Hunter Hamer, 19th Operations Group standardization evaluation liaison officer, flies over Oregon countryside July 14, 2018. Hamer flew as part of a convoy being escorted by F-15Cs during Cascadia Airlift Exercise 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rhett Isbell)

Airman connects cable from plane to chains of object.

Staff Sgt. George Childres, 41st Airlift Squadron loadmaster, connects a cable to a tactical air navigation system July 14, 2018, at Kingsley Field, Ore. Childres loaded the TACAN with Airmen from Kingsley Field to demonstrate proper techniques to them. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rhett Isbell)

Airman flips panel of plane.

Tech. Sgt. Ryan Maxey, 41st Airlift Squadron loadmaster, prepares a C-130J cargo to be loaded with a tactical air navigation system July 14, 2018, at Kingsley Field, Ore. The tactical air navigation system weighs approximately 20,000 lbs. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rhett Isbell)

Airman directs other Airmen steering large object.

Staff Sgt. George Childres, 41st Airlift Squadron loadmaster, directs Airmen while they load a tactical air navigation system onto a C-130J July 14, 2018, at Kingsley Field, Ore. The Airmen were in charge of steering the TACAN during the loading process. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rhett Isbell)

Airmen load a large piece of equipment onto plane.

Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., and Kingsley Field, Ore., Airmen load a tactical air navigation system on a C-130J July 14, 2018, at Kingsley Field, Ore. Loading the TACAN was part of Cascadia Airlift Exercise 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rhett Isbell)

C-130J flying over countryside.

Team Little Rock members fly over Oregon countryside July 14, 2018. Little Rock Air Force Base members traveled to Kingsley Field, Ore., to take part in Cascadia Airlift Exercise 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rhett Isbell)

Hands turn device holding chain.

Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., Airmen went to Kingsley Field, Ore., July 12-15 to assist Airmen there in learning how to best support a humanitarian airlift mission. Little Rock Air Force Base C-130Js were able to fly with Kingsley Field F-15Cs to improve each other’s tactics. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rhett Isbell)

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. --

Cascadia.

It’s a subduction zone along the western coast of the United States set to cause an earthquake every few hundred years capable of devastating much of the western seaboard in a matter of minutes.

To minimize the fallout of such a catastrophic event, Kingsley Field, Oregon, was designated as a potential collection point for relief efforts in the event of a natural disaster. Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, was called upon to assist Kingsley Field in demonstrating the demands and capabilities of airlift in a sustained humanitarian aid situation during Cascadia Airlift Exercise 2018.

“It’s a two-in-one exercise,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Wright, 173rd Fighter Wing chief of wing plans. “The main objective is to be able to host airlift-centered planes during a humanitarian response to the Cascadia earthquake and identify limiting factors in being able to properly manage them. We also had the added benefit of being able to have the C-130s and F-15Cs fly together. ”

Having prior experience flying C-130s, Wright felt that Little Rock’s robust combat airlift capability would be a perfect fit for generating the data necessary to lay the groundwork for hosting a large-scale humanitarian mission.

“We performed a stress test of Kingsley Field’s real-world capabilities to bring in aid immediately following a tsunami or earthquake disaster,” said Capt. Derek Potter, 61st Airlift Squadron C-130J pilot. “I think it was a great learning experience for us and believe the unit here got what they needed to perform their mission successfully.”

Along with testing Kingsley Fields airlift capabilities, Little Rock Air Force Base was able to conduct joint training operations with the F-15 formal training unit including; air-to-air engagements and escort tactics to the benefit of both units. Both units also found it helpful to be able to sit down and discuss what was and wasn’t effective in the air.

“One of the mission sets we train to is offensive counter air,” said Capt. Chris DuBois, 114th Fighter Squadron F-15C instructor pilot, “which means getting an asset into a contested area. Working with the C-130s, we were able to practice for this mission a lot more effectively and see what it’s like to integrate with them for the mission.”

Working to optimize mission time and manpower, LRAFB and Kingsley Field took the first steps towards a more effectively cared for coast and higher quality Air Force.

“I feel like this was a great first start, and there needs to be more exercises like this because you can never have enough practice for Cascadia,” Wright said. “It’s going to be a joint effort, and we need to tie ourselves together more. It’s invaluable training, and I hope we can set up a curriculum for the school house at LRAFB and for the school house here in the future.”


 

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