The coordinated effort began at the end of June, and since then, the teams have successfully accelerated the movement of $1.8 million of ground support equipment for Operation Spartan Shield. Not only has this new-formed bond between units saved on transport costs, but the operation has provided invaluable hands-on experience for the MH-53E aircrews.
“Our flight crews practice loading common aviation equipment to earn logistics-related qualifications,” Schmitt said. “Loading and configuring the aircraft with unfamiliar cargo prepares them for vertical onboard delivery missions to Navy ships that frequent the Arabian Gulf, which often requires flying unanticipated cargo back to the beach.”
Through innovative solutions, all branches of the DoD can benefit operationally, impacting multiple combatant commands’ AORs.
“By working with the U.S. Navy, we are utilizing their routine training missions to solve the Air Mobility Division’s transportation allocation outside of the USCENTCOM theater, and into the Africa Command theater of operations,” Thomas said. “It allows us to access a broader range of capabilities and resources beyond what the Air Force can provide. This relationship can lead to enhanced operational effectiveness and the ability to handle a wider variety of missions. It means we are strategically aligning joint operations with the overarching objectives and goals of national security.”
One of the priorities of the National Defense Strategy is to build a resilient joint force, and these airlift operations are aimed at that very priority.
“Here at the 8th EAMS, we are accomplishing that goal, and together USCENTCOM and NAVCENT are generating combat airpower without spending an extra cent while moving cargo for all six of the U.S. military branches and DoD partners,” Thomas said.