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
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
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
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,