62 AW and 555 EN BDE complete joint exercise

  • Published
  • By A1C Sara Hoerichs
  • 62 Airlift Wing


The 62nd Airlift Wing and the 555th Engineer Brigade (EN BDE) worked together to move equipment, vehicles and personnel by C-17 Globemaster III to Moses Lake May 21.

The 555th EN BDE was holding a deployment readiness exercise that tested their ability to deploy on short notice.

“Readiness is the keystone to any quick reaction force,” said U.S. Army Capt. Ian Hertig, 555th EN BDE assistant plans officer. “When the ‘balloon goes up,’ it’s only through the joint effort of the Army and Air Force that we can get the needed troops where and when they need to be for mission success. This training facilitated just that, providing invaluable lessons to our defense chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear response force (DCRF) units that has better prepared our personnel, vehicles and equipment to respond at a moment’s notice.”

A C-17 crew flew three trips back and forth from Joint Base Lewis-McChord to Moses Lake, transporting vehicles, pallets of equipment and Army Soldiers to where they were conducting their training.

 “Working with the Air Force provided critical DCRF deployment training, not only to the platoon but the entire brigade, that can’t be replicated through any other means,” said Hertig.

Designed to carry both cargo and troops, the C-17 crew transported over 40 Soldiers, three different types of vehicles and multiple pallets of equipment throughout the day.

“The maximum load for takeoff is a little over half a million pounds,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Matthew Burton, 4th Airlift Squadron (AS) pilot. “We are close to that with some of these loads.”

While a C-17 crew can be as small as three people, a pilot, co-pilot and loadmaster, three loadmasters crewed this mission to ensure everything ran as smoothly as possible.

“This is not your normal flight,” said U.S. Air Force Tech Sgt. Brian Layton, 4th AS loadmaster. “We only fly these types of training missions a few times a year.”

The unique mission allowed Airmen and Soldiers to work together to improve and hone their skills.

“By working with the Air Force we identified shortfalls as well as best practices that could only be gained through joint training like this,” said Hertig.

Joint training ensures all service members, regardless of branch, can work together to complete any mission at any time.