KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- Reserve Citizen Airmen from the 815th Airlift Squadron, aka ‘Flying Jennies,’ with the 327th AS, provided airlift and airdrop support for the U.S. Army’s Joint Forces Exercise Arctic Anvil, Oct. 1 to 6, 2019.
Arctic Anvil is a joint, multi-national, force-on-force culminating training exercise that is being held at Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center, Mississippi, throughout the month of October.
“The 815th, along with the 327th Airlift Squadron, had the pleasure of supporting the (4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division) for the exercise Arctic Anvil by providing personnel and equipment airdrop as well as short-field air land operations,” said Lt. Col. Mark Suckow, 815th AS pilot. “We were able to airdrop 400 paratroopers and equipment Wednesday night and 20 bundles of supplies Sunday into Camp Shelby.”
The 815th AS is an Air Force Reserve Command tactical airlift unit assigned to the 403rd Wing here. The unit transports supplies, equipment and personnel into a theater of operation. The 403rd Wing maintains 20 C-130J Super Hercules aircraft, 10 of which are flown by the Flying Jennies.
“We had the opportunity to provide three aircrews and two C-130Js to help execute the mass airlift and airdrop,” said Col. Dan Collister, 913th Airlift Group deputy commander. The 327th AS is a unit of the 913th AG based out of Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, and is an associate unit of the 19th Airlift Wing, an active duty unit equipped with C-130J Super Hercules aircraft.
“Our primary mission at the 913th is to provide combat-ready Airmen, tactical airlift and agile combat support, thus participating in a joint exercise such as this is a great way for our Reserve Citizen Airmen to hone their skills and get experience working hand-in-hand with partner units and sister services,” said Collister.
More than 3,000 ‘Arctic Soldiers’ of the 4/25th ICBT (ABN), based out of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, are participating in the joint forces exercise.
"At Camp Shelby, our paratroopers have completed a mass tactical airborne operation followed by force-on-force exercises culminating with combined live-fire training that will prepare us for the brigade’s upcoming Joint Readiness Training Exercise in January, said U.S. Army Col. Christopher Landers, 4/25th IBCT (ABN) commander. “Camp Shelby and the state of Mississippi have provided a remarkable training opportunity, that without their significant support, would not have been possible."
In addition to the 4/25th ICBT (ABN), soldiers from the 177th Combat Sustainment Support Brigade, the 3rd Royal Canadian Regiment, and Airmen from various units collaborated for the exercise.
Airmen from the 403rd Wing, 319th Airlift Group, 321st Contingency Response Squadron and 81st Training Wing supported the Air Force’s role in Arctic Anvil. Airmen from the 81st Logistics Readiness Squadron and Operations Support Flight contributed to the exercise with ground vehicle transportation and airspace support for the soldiers who were rigging their supplies for airdrop here.
“I am proud of our crews for this exercise,” said Suckow. “They executed the mission as planned and helped to us to meet our objectives. Time over target for airdrop and airland operations were executed flawlessly. The air land portion into the (landing zone) was completed in less than minimal time from landing to takeoff. Having the opportunity to work with thousands of soldiers in a large scale exercise like this is very beneficial training for us, it prepares us for real world operations.”