Vigilant Shield 18

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Jeff Howerton
  • 49th Public Affairs

Six Airmen from the 49th Logistics Readiness Squadron participated in Vigilant Shield 18, a joint exercise simulating rapid deployment missions, at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, from November 1 to 9, 2017.

During the 10-day exercise, 49th LRS Airmen offloaded vehicles and support equipment from two C-130 Hercules from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, and Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, to assist 100 soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, New York.

The equipment assisted the soldier’s deployment training, which includes supporting local guards and police while protecting critical infrastructures.

“We want to show joint-service support and I’m proud to help them with this critical exercise,” said Staff Sgt. Kelvin Boyington, 49th LRS Small Air Terminal supervisor.

Boyington and the other 49th LRS Airmen’s tasks enabled the Army unit to train in a different environment and to strengthen their skills.

"This is something that puts us into a new location, takes us out of Fort Drum and puts us in a new spot," said Army Capt. Andrew Boyle, C Company, 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry, 10th Mountain Division commander. "It allows the Soldiers to train in a desert atmosphere and apply some of those battle drills to an environment we don’t usually train in."

WSMR’s airfield also brought learning opportunities and challenges for the Airmen.

“This is a pretty bare bones flightline compared to what we’re used to at Holloman,” said Senior Airman Liam Wallsott, 49th LRS Small Air Terminal specialist. “When it comes to the real world we’re not always going to have the comforts of a home base. When we’re out in the field we will be roughing it, there might not be the best communications that we’d like with the plane. You always have to be ready for what might be unexpected. ”

Boyington stressed the importance of joint partnership between Holloman and WSMR while training.

“We’re a few miles down the road at Holloman and we can provide support to WSMR and other military branches when needed.”

Vigilant Shield is planned by United States Northern Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command and will happen again next year.