Joint force exercise prepares airmen, soliders for contingency operatons

A U.S. Army soldier assigned to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division from Fort Bragg, N.C., prepares to board a C-130J for a static-line jump in support of Exercise Green Flag Little Rock 16-09 Aug. 18, 2016, near Fort Polk, La. Once soldiers landed, their first objective was to create a blocking position to allow for land drops of cargo. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Kevin Sommer Giron)

A U.S. Army soldier assigned to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division from Fort Bragg, N.C., prepares to board a C-130J for a static-line jump in support of Exercise Green Flag Little Rock 16-09 Aug. 18, 2016, near Fort Polk, La. Once soldiers landed, their first objective was to create a blocking position to allow for land drops of cargo. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Kevin Sommer Giron)

U.S. Army Spc. Brady Spillane, 82nd Airborne Division forward observer, prepares for a static-line jump in support of Exercise Green Flag Little Rock 16-09 Aug. 18, 2016, near Fort Polk, La. Spilllane is one of approximately 740 paratroopers to jump from Air Mobility Command aircraft during Green Flag. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Kevin Sommer Giron)

U.S. Army Spc. Brady Spillane, 82nd Airborne Division forward observer, prepares for a static-line jump in support of Exercise Green Flag Little Rock 16-09 Aug. 18, 2016, near Fort Polk, La. Spilllane is one of approximately 740 paratroopers to jump from Air Mobility Command aircraft during Green Flag. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Kevin Sommer Giron)

U.S. Army soldiers assigned to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division from Fort Bragg, N.C., apply camouflage face paint in preparation for a static-line jump in support of Exercise Green Flag Little Rock 16-09 Aug. 18, 2016, near Fort Polk, La. Camouflage face paint is used to protect personnel from observation by enemy forces in a forest environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Kevin Sommer Giron)

U.S. Army soldiers assigned to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division from Fort Bragg, N.C., apply camouflage face paint in preparation for a static-line jump in support of Exercise Green Flag Little Rock 16-09 Aug. 18, 2016, near Fort Polk, La. Camouflage face paint is used to protect personnel from observation by enemy forces in a forest environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Kevin Sommer Giron)

U.S. Army soldiers assigned to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division from Fort Bragg, N.C., prepare to board a C130J for a static-line jump in support of Exercise Green Flag Little Rock 16-09 Aug. 18, 2016, near Fort Polk, La. 19th Airlift Wing aircraft dropped 24 sorties into the landing zone after a mass personnel drop of approximately 740 paratroopers. (U.S. Air Force photo/Amn Kevin Sommer Giron)

U.S. Army soldiers assigned to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division from Fort Bragg, N.C., prepare to board a C130J for a static-line jump in support of Exercise Green Flag Little Rock 16-09 Aug. 18, 2016, near Fort Polk, La. 19th Airlift Wing aircraft dropped 24 sorties into the landing zone after a mass personnel drop of approximately 740 paratroopers. (U.S. Air Force photo/Amn Kevin Sommer Giron)

U.S. Army soldiers assigned to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division from Fort Bragg, N.C., board a C-130J for a static-line jump in support of Exercise Green Flag Little Rock 16-09 Aug. 18, 2016, near Fort Polk, La. Six C-130Js assigned to Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., and Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, participated in the exercise, lending their airlift capabilities to the 3rd BCT paratroopers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Kevin Sommer Giron)

U.S. Army soldiers assigned to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division from Fort Bragg, N.C., board a C-130J for a static-line jump in support of Exercise Green Flag Little Rock 16-09 Aug. 18, 2016, near Fort Polk, La. Six C-130Js assigned to Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., and Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, participated in the exercise, lending their airlift capabilities to the 3rd BCT paratroopers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Kevin Sommer Giron)

A U.S. Army jumpmaster assigned to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division from Fort Bragg, N.C., briefs static-line jump procedures prior to a mass personnel drop Aug. 18, 2016, near Fort Polk, La. The jump provided realistic training for soldiers to prepare for contingency operations and marks the start of Exercise Green Flag Little Rock 16-09. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Kevin Sommer Giron)

A U.S. Army jumpmaster assigned to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division from Fort Bragg, N.C., briefs static-line jump procedures prior to a mass personnel drop Aug. 18, 2016, near Fort Polk, La. The jump provided realistic training for soldiers to prepare for contingency operations and marks the start of Exercise Green Flag Little Rock 16-09. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Kevin Sommer Giron)

U.S. Army soldiers assigned to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division from Fort Bragg, N.C., demonstrates fastening procedures for parachutes prior to a mass personnel drop Aug. 18, 2016, near Fort Polk, La. The jump provides realistic training for soldiers to prepare for contingency operations and marks the beginning of Exercise Green Flag Little Rock 16-09.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Kevin Sommer Giron)

U.S. Army soldiers assigned to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division from Fort Bragg, N.C., demonstrates fastening procedures for parachutes prior to a mass personnel drop Aug. 18, 2016, near Fort Polk, La. The jump provides realistic training for soldiers to prepare for contingency operations and marks the beginning of Exercise Green Flag Little Rock 16-09. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Kevin Sommer Giron)

U.S Army soldiers secure their parachutes prior to a static-line jump in support of Exercise Green Flag Little Rock 16-09 Aug. 18, 2016, near Fort Polk, La. During the exercise, approximately 740 paratroopers were airdropped to include U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army personnel. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Kevin Sommer Giron)

U.S Army soldiers secure their parachutes prior to a static-line jump in support of Exercise Green Flag Little Rock 16-09 Aug. 18, 2016, near Fort Polk, La. During the exercise, approximately 740 paratroopers were airdropped to include U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army personnel. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Kevin Sommer Giron)

U.S. Army soldiers assigned to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division from Fort Bragg, N.C., arrive at an intermediate staging base Aug. 18, 2016, near Fort Polk, La. Approximately 750 paratroopers jumped from Air Mobility Command aircraft in support of Exercise Green Flag Little Rock 16-09. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Kevin Sommer Giron)

U.S. Army soldiers assigned to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division from Fort Bragg, N.C., arrive at an intermediate staging base Aug. 18, 2016, near Fort Polk, La. Approximately 750 paratroopers jumped from Air Mobility Command aircraft in support of Exercise Green Flag Little Rock 16-09. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Kevin Sommer Giron)

A U.S. Air Force Airman from Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., arrives at an intermediate staging base Aug. 18, 2016, near Fort Polk, La. Approximately 750 paratroopers jumped from Air Mobility Command aircraft in support of Exercise Green Flag Little Rock 16-09. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Kevin Sommer Giron)
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A U.S. Air Force Airman from Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., arrives at an intermediate staging base Aug. 18, 2016, near Fort Polk, La. Approximately 750 paratroopers jumped from Air Mobility Command aircraft in support of Exercise Green Flag Little Rock 16-09. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Kevin Sommer Giron)

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. --

Green Flag Little Rock 16-09 kicked off Aug. 18, 2016, with approximately 750 U.S. Army airborne infantry soldiers jumping from several C-130Js and C-17 Globemaster IIIs in the dead of night to seize and secure an assault zone.

This event, referred to as Hit Night, marked the beginning of GFLR 16-09. Among the largest rotational air mobility training events in the world, is a realistic scenario-based training opportunity for the U.S. Air Force to interact with ground-force elements.

The emphasis of GFLR 16-09 was placed on strengthening the joint relationship between U.S. Air Mobility Command and the U.S. Army ground forces.

Throughout the weeklong exercise, AMC aircrews launched from Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, to Intermediate Staging Base Alexandria, Louisiana, in support of U.S. Army operations at the Joint Readiness Training Center in Fort Polk, Louisiana.

“We are here for our aircrews and the U.S. Army to receive the most accurate and realistic training as well as build our relationship in order to work together more cohesively and efficiently,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Bryant Jarrell, 34th Combat Training Squadron exercise director.

The mass static-line personnel drop marked the beginning of a one-of-a-kind joint service training event.

Six C-130s from Little Rock AFB and Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, flew alongside six C-17s from Charleston Air Force Base, North Carolina, and Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. The fleet lined the sky as they dropped containment delivery systems bundles and hundreds of paratroopers onto the secured zone near Fort Polk.

With key cargo dropped ahead of them, the soldiers’ first objective was to create a blocking position, securing the landing zone while keeping opposing forces at bay.

“Once they get the LZ secured,” Jarrell said, “we can bring in follow-on cargo – beans, bullets and more fight or whatever they need – through landing procedures.”

In total, AMC aircrews offloaded approximately 750 paratroopers, 491 tons of cargo and flew 29 sorties.

“The Air Force gets the job done on time, which is good because the faster they get us out there, the faster we can do our job on the ground,” said U.S Army Private 1st Class Bradley Gardinier, 82nd Airborne Division forward observer. “All off my jumps have been off Air Force aircraft — this being my 10th jump.”

Green Flag Little Rock provides the most realistic, tactical-level, joint-combat employment training, tailored to air mobility forces and U.S. Army needs. It also allows the crossflow of information to boost communications between branches.

“It’s the Army’s playground down here and a great training environment for us to utilize good airspace,” Jerrell said. “We work with the Army consistently because they’re the ones utilizing our aircraft in contingency operations. We depend on each other for land and air support, time-and-time again.”