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Exercise Mobility Guardian begins May 15 to advance Air Mobility Command capabilities

  • Published
  • By Air Mobility Command Public Affairs
  • Air Mobility Command

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Illinois – Exercise Mobility Guardian 2021, the Air Force’s largest and longest exercise ensuring readiness to move military personnel and equipment in combat operations, is scheduled to begin at Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, Michigan, on May 15.

More than 1,800 exercise participants will operate 18 mobility aircraft at six locations in Michigan and Wisconsin through May 27 in order to validate Air Mobility Command’s readiness to provide Rapid Global Mobility for America and the Joint Force.

Additional exercise locations include Oscoda-Wurtsmith Airport, Michigan and Volk Field, Wisconsin, with Air National Guard units from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio flying in the exercise.

The biennial exercise includes AMC’s first large-scale integration of cutting-edge concepts to advance warfighting capabilities. Multi-Capable Mobility Airmen will demonstrate speed and agility while enabling refueling and re-arming of fighter aircraft in an austere location. Aircrew and mission planners will use specialized computers and communications aboard aircraft to rapidly share data, promoting increased awareness of simulated threats against forces and better, faster decision making.

Mobility Guardian 2021 also includes the first-ever integration of the KC-46 Pegasus into AMC’s flagship exercise.

Mobility Guardian is not evaluated in a ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ sense.

Rather, success is based on testing cutting-edge tactics, experimenting with emerging concepts and technology and developing Airmen by exposing them to complex challenges.

Mobility Guardian challenges Mobility Airmen with a difficult, realistic and detailed training to maximize learning through integration of multiple Air Force platforms and functions across all domains while testing new concepts to advance our capabilities,” said Capt. Alexander Hutcheson, Exercise Mobility Guardian 2021 Lead Air Planner. “The goal is for participants to return to their units with realistic experience on the nature of future conflicts and with lessons learned on how we might best employ new tactics, techniques and procedures to counter any adversary.”

Airmen will face simulated threats representing a highly-capable adversary, like China or Russia.

We’ve created an exercise to test every AMC mission set based on the AMC commander’s priorities and overarching guidance like the National Defense Strategy and the Chief of Staff of the Air Force’s exercise guidance,” said Lt. Col. Brian Thomasson, Exercise Mobility Guardian 2021 Director. “While we’re building on everything we’ve learned from decades of combat operations and two previous Mobility Guardians, make no mistake, this is not designed to be a comfortable exercise. We’re pushing the envelope to accelerate change and advance warfighting capabilities.”

The challenging exercise simulates combat against a highly-capable adversary in a contested, degraded and operationally-limited environment based on anticipated future threats.

Mobility Guardian is about developing Airmen and advancing warfighting capabilities by pushing boundaries and experimenting with new concepts to ensure Mobility Forces are ready to project the Joint Force and ensure strategic deterrence,” said Brig. Gen. Charles Bolton, Headquarters AMC Deputy Director of Operations, Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration. “AMC leverages opportunities like Mobility Guardian to ensure our Total Force is ready to compete with, deter or defeat any adversary, not just in the current environment, but also in the future fight.”

It took nine months to design a safe, yet challenging, exercise set to occur in the skies over two states and the Great Lakes.

Planning and executing Mobility Guardian is truly a team effort. The partnerships formed with our Air Force, Joint, Total Force and community partner teammates during exercise planning and execution pay dividends today and tomorrow,” Thomasson said. “Our state and community partners in Michigan and Wisconsin can feel proud knowing their installations and training areas are directly contributing to the readiness of the American military.”

For more information on Exercise Mobility Guardian 2021 visit