LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. --
Airmen from the 19th Airlift Wing flew to Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, October 26-27, to participate in Agile Flag 21-1, showcasing distributed operations and testing agile combat employment capabilities.
As the only Mobility Air Forces participants, nearly 20 Airmen and two C-130J Super Hercules from the 19th AW displayed that the C-130 is the prime transport for troops and equipment, capable of supporting and integrating with the Combat Air Forces in contested and austere environments.
“Our mission for the exercise was to support the movement of the Integrated Combat Turn team from one base to another,” said Capt. Josiah Sayers, 61st Airlift Squadron pilot. “The team’s primary objective was flexibility for catching and launching fighters from various locations with minimum equipment, personnel and time.”
The 366th Fighter Wing from Mountain Home AFB, Idaho, was operating in Agile Flag 21-1 at their main operating base at Tyndall AFB, Florida, while supporting a forward operating base at Hurlburt Field, Florida. The 19th AW transported the members from Hurlburt Field to their contingency location at Eglin, AFB, Florida.
“It's invaluable to integrate with other major commands and wings to understand the multi-dimensional Air Force, how we work together, improve ourselves and each other,” said Senior Airman Austin Shaw, 61st AS loadmaster.
The team also simulated loading a weapons jammer and transporting it to the contingency location in order for the crew from the 366th FW to capably arm the F-15E Strike Eagle.
“Agile Flag proves how lethal we are together and how much more capable the C-130 is with fighters at our side,” Shaw said. “It also highlights how much more mission-capable fighters become while paired with the mobility aspect of the Herk resupplying and carrying essential equipment and personnel.”
This integration is critical to advancing warfighting capabilities to maximize readiness and accelerate the change needed for mission execution in a rapidly changing global strategic environment.
“Exercises such as this provide the chance for folks to see these new tactics that are being developed and start applying similar concepts to their particular area of expertise,” Sayers said. “Often, innovation isn’t a completely novel idea, but an adaptation from one segment to another.”
To remain the leading edge of operational excellence, the MAF and CAF will continue to discover innovative ways to approach the way we deter adversaries and prepare for tomorrow’s fight.
“This exercise was a move in the right direction toward accelerating change, and ultimately the more we can do to increase our flexibility for employment, the better we’re going to do in any fight,” Sayers said. “The way we think and train has to be continually focused on so we are ready to face any future challenges and enemies.”