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NEWS | April 15, 2024

Army and Air Force Reserve integrate to practice strategic air mobility

By Sgt. Brea DuBose 259th Expeditionary Military Intelligence Brigade

U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers and U.S. Air Force Reserve airmen teamed up to conduct an air deployment readiness exercise April 4, 2024.

The training event began when Soldiers assigned to the 373rd Expeditionary Military Intelligence Battalion, 259th Expeditionary Military Intelligence Brigade, drove tactical vehicles onto the McChord Field flightline. Upon arrival, Soldiers met Air Force reservists assigned the 446th Airlift Wing, Air Force Reserve Command.

U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Richard Scott, a ground liaison officer with the 5th Battlefield Coordination Detachment, facilitated the integration between the Army Reserve and Air Force Reserve for the mission.

“Today, we’re conducting a static ground trainer,” said Scott. “It’s where the Army gets the unique opportunity to train with live loadmasters on a live C-17, and practice upload and download of their rolling stock cargo.”

Soldiers from the 373rd Military Intelligence Battalion, out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, loaded a Light Medium Tactical Vehicle (LMTV) and two M1151 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV) onto a C-17A Globemaster III aircraft. Air Force Reserve loadmasters guided the soldiers as they drove up the ramp and into the aircraft cargo hold. The mission was the first time 446th Airlift Wing airmen had worked with the 373rd Expeditionary Military Intelligence Battalion.

U.S. Air Force Reserve Maj. Jason Taylor, chief of current operations of the 446th Airlift Wing, shared how the new relationship aids his team.

“Working with the Army on items such as this is really helpful in giving our troops some more exposure to uploading unique cargo loads,” Taylor said.

U.S. Army Reserve 1st Lt. Zachary Garrow, the 373rd Expeditionary Military Intelligence Battalion unit movement officer, oversaw and planned the coordination of the mission from the Army side. Garrow had similar sentiments about the mutually beneficial training.

“We are an expeditionary military intelligence battalion,” Garrow said. “This is basically certifying that expeditionary part; to be able to mobilize, be able to activate, [and] go anywhere we need to go in a timely manner. We are practicing so that way if this ever does happen where we need to mobilize or deploy quickly, we are able to accomplish that.”

After a successful training mission, Garrow shared his favorite thing about the exercise.

“This is some really great training that we’re doing today with the Air Force,” Garrow said. “It’s really great to build these relationships, and [I’m] seeing a lot of smiling faces on all the Soldiers.”