Tuesday, September 28, 2021

U.S. Air Force conducts massive airlift exercise

The U.S. Air Force conducted an extraordinary exercise to evaluate their ability to deploy a large aircraft formation.

Up to 30 C-130 Hercules and almost 10 C-17 Globemaster III transport aircraft with and other special aircraft (included E8 Joint Star) took off from a dozen bases around the United States as part of the extraordinary and massive exercise.

The exercise conducted for testing the pilot’s abilities to fly in a large formation and to simulate a mission to get into enemy territory and drop U.S. Army paratroopers, who would then establish a presence on the ground.


The value of a exercise of this magnitude allows the armed forces the opportunity to see training completed on a smaller scale now executed of a larger, more real world scenario. The annual mobility exercise allows the airlift wing the chance to perform almost every aspect of a combat mission including intelligence development, aircraft loading and launch, airdrops and special operations and landings on semi-prepared runways.

Three C-17 Globemaster IIIs, assigned to the 535th Airlift Squadron, prepare for takeoff during the C-17 Weapons Instructor Course’s first indoctrination to the Indo-Pacific region, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Nov. 7, 2018. Photo by Capt. Jonathan Lewczyk

The exercises are some of the most demanding and challenging for airlifter crews and instructors judge successes and failures based on how the entire force works together in the air and on the ground.

At the same time, the massive airlift exercise of the U.S. Air Force really gave experts from all over the world quite a scare.

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About this Author

Dylan Malyasov
U.S. defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.