Altus readiness, deployment exercise tests aircrew skills in austere environment

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jonah G. Bliss
  • 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

Airmen across the 97th Air Mobility Wing participated in a readiness and deployment exercise, April 29 - May 3, 2024. The installation performed various simulated activities, posturing to improve overall readiness of the Mighty 97th.

As part of the readiness exercise, the 97th Operations Group conducted a large force exercise. The LFE included 17 aircraft with aircrews performing airdrop and aerial refueling, as well as landings on semi-prepared runways at Fort Johnson, Louisiana.  

“It was the whole team working together that made this such a success,“ said Lt. Col. Andrew J. Stewart, 97th OG deputy commander. “We were able to combine our adaptive training model and agile combat employment concepts to employ airdrop, airland and air refueling operations to execute a very realistic training scenario.”

The team landed a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft on short, gravel-covered dirt runways, keeping the pilots’ capabilities sharp to operate the aircraft in austere environments.

“This exercise wasn’t just about the fliers,” said Stewart, “Everybody’s job was integral to the success of this large force exercise.”