Team McChord executes Exercise Long Hammer/Rainier War

  • Published
  • By SrA Sara Hoerichs
  • 62nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Team McChord participated in Exercise Long Hammer/Rainier War, August 3 - 7 here, testing deployment and readiness capabilities while implementing and complying with COVID-19 prevention measures.

Long Hammer tested the 627th Air Base Group’s rapid deployment processing line while Rainier War focused on maintenance and operations in the 62nd Airlift Wing. Neither the 627th ABG nor the 62nd AW work entirely separate from each other so Long Hammer and Rainier War were held at the same time. Nearly every unit across Team McChord took part in the exercises.

“This is something that can’t be done without support across the installation,” said Master Sgt. John King, 627th ABG Inspector General (IG) superintendent. “The air wing along with the Army and the air base group all worked together to cohesively integrate our exercises so everybody benefited.”

The 627th ABG executed its Phase I deployment line during Exercise Long Hammer, processing personnel and cargo for deployment while mitigating COVID-19 type threats.

Hand sanitizing, mask wearing and social distancing among both the ABG Airmen processing personnel and the Airmen being processed for simulated deployment were some of the measures taken to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

“You’re always testing the resiliency of Airmen and units focused on performing the mission under the worst case scenario,” said King. “COVID provided a unique and very realistic scenario and lead to some great learning.”

Exercise Rainier War focused primarily on the 62nd AW’s maintenance and operations capabilities.

Airmen from every 62nd Maintenance Group organization were involved in tasks ranging from towing a simulated disabled aircraft and offloading cargo during night operations to cleaning and sanitizing an aircraft and its cargo after a simulated infection among the aircrew.

The 4th 7th and 8th Airlift Squadrons carried out tactical training events including low level flying, air refueling, and navigation in simulated degraded and contested environments.

Airmen and Soldiers showcased the benefits of a joint base during Rainier War. Pilots and loadmasters practiced securing and transporting unique and outsized Army vehicles while Soldiers practiced preparing and loading those vehicles onto aircraft.

This exercise focused not just on readiness or deployment capability but on safety and prevention of the coronavirus spread.

“One of the objectives I had at the IG was to make sure that this wing can perform its mission while abiding by COVID mitigation measures and they showed that they could,” said Lt. Col. Justin Wilson, 62nd AW IG chief. “They were able to fly, maintain and execute cargo and passenger processing all while observing COVID guidance.”

Whether the challenges are real-life or simulated, Exercise Long Hammer and Rainier War showed that McChord Airmen remain ready to generate combat airlift always.