Mobility Guardian brings over 4K military personnel to Fairchild AFB
SPOKANE, Wash. — It’s not your imagination, we’ve seen and heard a lot more air traffic over the city in recent weeks.
That’s because thousands of military men and women have traveled to Fairchild Air Force Base for training. The operation known as “Mobility Guardian” happens every two years in a different location. Fairchild was selected because of the terrain around the west plains.
The event brought in more than 4,000 people from all over the world over the past month to “practice delivering combat power.”
While the training event is starting to wrap up, 4 News Now paid a visit to Fairchild AFB to see what they’re learning on land and in the air.
After speaking with several military men and women taking part in Mobility Guardian, there was a clear resemblance between their team and the aircraft they operated. It was noticeable how every part and piece had a purpose. The hooks, the rope – all strategically engineered to make the plane fly efficiently.
As did the members of military in training. They’re all in a specific place, in a certain role, to accomplish big tasks.
Wednesday, a group of airmen practiced dropping large loads from a C-17 aircraft. It was thousands of pounds of load dropping from the sky.
“Whatever the supplies are necessary, we’ve got to get it out the door, onto an aircraft and then on to a drop zone,” said 2nd Lt. Samuel Crump, an aerial delivery platoon leader in the US Army.
Before any of the load gets airborne, it gets prepped in a hangar by 2nd Lt. Crump’s team.
“Typically, you do food, water, ammunition, and there is different procedures for every item that you want to rig,” 2nd Lt. Crump said.
For training purposes, the large jugs for load are just filled with water. But in warfare, it’s more serious. The job that gets done down in the hangar can impact the soldiers up in the air.
“I trust them every time I exit an aircraft – that they’ve done their job right,” 2nd Lt. Crump said.
Any small details missed in the hangar could cost someone their life.
“Every person you see here in the red hat has packed their own parachute and jumped it,” 2nd Lt. Crump said.
This team is no different than the C-17 they’re flying in. It takes every moving part working seamlessly to get the job done.
“Train like we fight, so if we ever need help or go somewhere and we have coalition support and that we’ve trained together, so we can execute the mission together as well,” said Lt. Col. Brian Phillips, US Air Force.
The international training event ends Friday. Mobility Guardian is a bi-annual event. The location for the next one hasn’t been announced yet. A couple years back, it was in western Washington. There is a possibility it will be back at Fairchild AFB.
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