Exercise Storm Flag 24-07 strengthens joint integration

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt Shaniah Pritchett
  • Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Public Affairs

Exercise Storm Flag 24-07, which primarily took place at Alexandria International Airport, Louisiana, focused on enhancing deployment integration capabilities and practicing combat logistics. Participants also utilized Geronimo Landing Zone during the training, which is a semi-prepared runway located about 30 minutes west.

“Louisiana's hot and humid environment serves as a perfect testbed for equipment and operational concepts necessary to compete in the Pacific theater,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Andrew Quallio, 305th Operations Support Squadron chief of Wing Tactics. “Practicing effective integration with our joint and international partners during large-scale exercises under these challenging conditions is essential to winning the next fight.”

The 305th Air Mobility Wing’s 6th Airlift Squadron played a central role in the exercise, employing their C-17 Globemaster III aircraft. The C-17 is renowned for its ability to rapidly deliver troops and diverse cargo to operational and forward deployment bases, and its involvement in the exercise contributed to the realistic combat scenarios. The exercise also provided the opportunity for the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division out of Fort Drum, New York, to complete a portion of their deployment certification event.

Together with more than 5,000 U.S. Army Soldiers, Airmen from the 6th AS, 305th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, 621st Contingency Response Squadron, 21st Airlift Squadron from Travis Air Force Base, 39th Airlift Squadron from Dyess AFB and the Royal Canadian air force integrated to practice joint training. This level of diversity allowed participants to maneuver intense collaboration measures.

“At its core, Storm Flag is a combat logistics exercise,” Quallio said. “It provides participants with a dynamic and austere environment in which they must execute real movements and handle real logistical consequences for failing to achieve tactical objectives.”

Throughout the exercise, service members engaged in simulated combat scenarios. Airmen employed contingency command and control, integrated mission planning, specialized fueling operations, semi-prepared runway operations and airdrop operations, to successfully develop platform-agnostic products and test best practices for executing future missions.

“The goal of exercises like Storm Flag is to prepare service members to rapidly deploy, integrate seamlessly and achieve mission success,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Elizabeth Hanson, 305th AMW commander. “The ability to project power on short notice, then employ and sustain operations drives the focus of this training, growing and strengthening our capabilities with each iteration.”

Exercises like Storm Flag 24-07 address the present changes and challenges in the current battlespace. They align with Air Mobility Command’s Explodeo initiatives that bolster capabilities to effectively deploy in challenging information environments. Such readiness events ensure AMC forces are equipped with the necessary skills to fight and win.