Exercises that Matter

Air Mobility Command’s Mobility Guardian exercise will focus on skills that might have been lost during recent routines, AMC chief Gen. Carlton Everhart said Tuesday. “What I’ve found out over the last 15 years, is that we’re really good about taking off from the East Coast, getting to Germany, having a beer and schnitzel, and then we go down the boulevard and we say hello to everything in Afghanistan, we go right back up, we stop at [al Udeid], and we go back to Germany, top off with a beer and schnitzel, and we head home,” Everhart said. “We’re really good at doing that for the last 15 years, [but] … we may have lost how we get out of town, and how we load up, and how we do the things that we do.” During a prior session at the National Defense Transportation Association fall meeting in St. Louis, on Tuesday, Air Force Gen. Darren McDew, commander of US Transportation Command, said the military has learned how to sustain during the last 15 years of war, but hasn’t had much practice deploying large forces. “It’s a different proposition, and we’re going to have to realize that,” McDew said. He suggested improved exercises are needed. “We have to resolve to have exercises that matter,” McDew said. “We have to resolve to make sure we never go into an exercise saying, ‘We’re not going to get anything out of it.’ We can’t afford it.” Everhart said Mobility Guardian, which is scheduled for two weeks in August 2017, will provide scenarios to practice those fundamental skills, including forcible entry and redeplo?yment, with joint, coalition, and international partners. (For more, read Mobility Reset from the June issue of Air Force Magazine.)