Feature Stories

NEWS | Dec. 17, 2018

Army, Air Force performs HIMARS exercise in C-17

By Airman 1st Class Jessica Blair

U.S. Army and Air Force units performed an exercise loading 90 thousand pounds of M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems onto a C-17 Globemaster III, here, Dec. 13, 2018.

The 6th Airlift Squadron from Joint Base MDL and 3rd Battalion, 321st Field Artillery Regiment from Fort Bragg, North Carolina performed a joint mission exercise loading and downloading flight HIMARS, an air-transportable, U.S. Army rocket system capable of firing a variety of conventional precision-guided ballistic munitions at ranges up to 300 kilometers.

The HIMARS air transportability, coupled with the range of its munitions, is a powerful tool for destroying targets and is typically used for fire support during assault by initial entry forces.

The joint force exercise refined and refreshed tactics, techniques and procedures for the HIMARS Rapid Infiltration (HI-RAIN) mission. HI-RAIN missions effectively minimizes the amount of time the joint force is on the ground in a real-world scenario, reducing the aircrafts and HIMARS exposure to threats.

“We are here to do some great training with the Air Force,” U.S. Army Spc. Gregory White, 3-321st Field Artillery Regiment. “It’s really going to expedite the process to deliver HI-RAIN missions in the future.”

During the HI-RAIN exercise, C-17 aircrew performed low-level flying maneuvers to simulate a more realistic tactical response. HI-RAIN’s provide commanders capabilities that increase freedom of maneuver to both air and ground units and enable total joint force readiness for global response to threats by extending the range of the HIMARS with C-17 joint forcible entry insertions.

“I credit the success of this exercises to Lt. Col. Kerley, 305th Operations Support Squadron commander, and the 3-321st Field Artillery,” said U.S. Army Capt. Seth Corrigan, 4th Battle Field Detachment (BCD), ground liaison officer. “For providing the resources, support and trust to execute training for both air and ground crews.”

Overall, the joint mission exercise went as planned and effectively prepared both the Army and the Air Force for a real world mission to transport and deploy the rocket systems as quickly as possible.

“We did pretty well and the Army met their time crunch,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Larry Webster, 6th Airlift Squadron loadmaster. “That was the major objective for today, to get the Army their practice and showcasing the capabilities of the HIMARS and the C-17.”