Mobility airpower on display during AAFB’s large force exercise

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Trenton Jancze
  • 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

Airmen from the 97th Air Mobility Wing conducted a large force exercise, March 24, 2023, evacuating 20 aircraft as part of a severe weather exercise at Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma.

Airmen generated, launched, and recovered seven KC-135 Stratotankers, eight C-17 Globemaster IIIs and five KC-46 Pegasus aircraft as part of this exercise.

“This was a total team effort,” said Capt. Kevin Clink, 54th Air Refueling Squadron chief of tactics. “While we are showcasing our ability to generate our aircraft in such a short amount of time, we are still accomplishing all of our daily training, really showing our adaptability in the case of emergencies.”

The 97th Medical Group conducted patient loading on a C-17 and a tactical combat casualty care training while airborne, which is the first time the medical group has conducted this training. The 97th Maintenance Group generated every aircraft used during the exercise. The 97th Mission Support Group helped prepare the aircraft with fuel, airdrop pallets and aircrew transportation. The 97th Operations Group executed aircrew training on all platforms during the exercise.

“The LFE has provided a unique opportunity for all the units involved,” said Clink. “Not only are we accomplishing our daily training, but we’re doing it on a much larger scale with all these aircraft taking off in such a short amount of time. We are developing multi-capable Airmen here, and LFEs like this offer even further opportunity for that to happen.”

Exercise planners coordinated the “rapid, agile, and highly synchronized” event to demonstrate the readiness and training capability of Altus AFB.

Once the exercise concluded, Col. Blaine Baker, 97th AMW commander, expressed his excitement and pride about the successful execution of the exercise.

“The level of professionalism and proficiency that our team showcased to generate, launch, and recover all available aircraft is unparalleled,” he said. “Today, our amazing community got to see the full might of Altus AFB as we forge the world’s most inspired, proficient and adaptive mobility warriors. Our large force exercise demonstrates the unwavering commitment of our team and community to deliver airpower for America in defense of this great nation.”