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Teamwork more important than ever during uncertain times

JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. -- The week before Memorial Day I flew as part of a large formation exercise of 21 mighty C-17 Globemaster IIIs alongside our active-duty and Army partners. I was reminded in a poignant way – times are uncertain and we could get "the call" at any moment. Multiple hotspots exist in just about every corner of the globe, and over the past few years we’ve been constantly called on to perform more with less. Joint teamwork and exercises like this are more relevant and more important than ever to help keep us all at the top of our game.

During our exercise we planned to drop over 1,000 paratroopers from the formidable 82nd Airborne Division, along with their heavy equipment. This directly supported their mission to “strategically deploy, conduct forcible entry parachute assault and secure key objectives for follow-on military operations.” I watched as the professional Airman in the 437 AW and 315 AW flawlessly launched and recovered 21 aircraft, not once, not twice, but three times that day. Like anything in life, "no good plan survives first contact with the enemy" and despite the curveballs thrown at the formation that day…winds, weather, weight restrictions… I witnessed the tremendous teamwork from maintainers, operators and the Army as we came together to safely execute one of our most complex missions.

Our joint environment is critical because when we get “the call,’’ we know we are ready! We know how to fight alongside each other. We’ve practiced, rehearsed, and through this teamwork we can face any challenge that lies ahead.

This large formation exercise was awe inspiring and demonstrated to me at every level that I am part of the most professional Air Force in the world. No one else does it like us, I’m proud to be surrounded by such an amazing military family here at Joint Base Charleston…America’s military elite!