Mobility Airmen enhance readiness, build partnerships in multi-national exercise
Story by A1C Cameron Otte on 09/24/2019
TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. Travis AFB is serving as a staging base for the Mobility Guardian 2019, which kicked off Sept. 8 at Fairchild AFB, Washington, and continues through Sept. 28.
Aircraft, equipment and personnel from multiple installations were positioned at Travis prior to deploying to Washington for MG19. MG19 is Air Mobility Command’s largest training event with more than 4,000 joint and international service members integrated to hone their skills and improve partnerships.
Among the organizations supported by Team Travis were security teams assigned to the 820th Base Defense Group from Moody AFB, Georgia, airfield assessment teams from the 621st Contingency Response Wing and members of the Royal Australian air force.
“Here at Travis AFB we are serving as an aerial port of embarkation for multiple elements who are processing through,” said Capt. Andrew Kibellus, 821st Contingency Response Squadron aerial port flight commander. “Training for real world situations in exercises like these serves to sharpen all mobility Airmen in the United States Air Force along with partner nations as we recreate the contingency response structure within our elements, enabling rapid global mobility and adaptive basing.”
Kibellus said there are several benefits to training with international partners.
“Over time, we have noticed, in global terms, more of our deployments are becoming joint operations,” said Kibellus. “Therefore, we share operating areas with our partners, which is essential to the mobility construct of the Air Force’s capability to communicate with other nations.
“Knowing how to interact with partner nations and how they do business in terms of transporting personnel and equipment is crucial in getting the mission done successfully,” Kibellus said. “During combat support or humanitarian missions, we share equipment, airfields and potentially each other’s aircraft depending on what the mission requires.”
Communication in such an environment is crucial and was a key part of the exercise; something that was displayed when U.S. Airmen and RAAF aircraftmen shared equipment.
“We loaded pallets of medical and fire relief supplies, Humvees and Razor off-road vehicles, into a C-5M Super Galaxy,” said Airman 1st Class Anthony Sauma, 60th Aerial Port Squadron air transportation journeyman. “This exercise was a great opportunity to experience how our allies perform in similar situations to prepare themselves. We shared ideas and methods of how we would usually complete missions, which helps everyone improve.
“It’s essential for everyone to be on top of their game, so we are ready to take action when the time comes,” Sauma added. “If we aren’t on top of our game when it really counts, then cargo could get delayed, which could cause people to get hurt or even die.”
Being ready to project American power anytime, anywhere is a constant focus for Travis AFB, home to the largest air mobility wing in the U.S. Air Force, added Kibellus.
“At Travis AFB, we train like we fight to ensure we’re always prepared for any and all crises that may arise,” he said.