|Italian Air Force C-130J involved in US-led multinational exercise Mobility Guardian 2019, Fairchild Air Base (USA).|
Air crews and specialists of the Italian Air Force participated in the most important military exercise on air transport led by the US Air Force, the Mobility Guardian 2019 (MG19). The MG19 took place at the Fairchild Air Base (USA) from September 21 to 28 and included 46 aircraft and more than 4,000 military personnel from 13 different countries. The MG is a biennial event organized by the USAF Air Mobility Command to promote, test and increase interoperability between air forces through the sharing of information, experiences and tactical procedures between crews from different countries.
Italy has sent thirty-two soldiers to the United States (28 from the 46th Air Brigade, 2 from the 3rd Wing and 2 from the “Folgore” Paratrooper Brigade).
Two C130J crews belonging to the 2nd and 50th Groups of the 46th Air Brigade have carried out complex missions, often in formation with other aircraft, at low altitude, day and night, with NVG viewers, covering a spectrum of capacities from air launches – simulated and real – of heavy loads, to landings on short runways and to mass medical evacuation.
The different types of activities conducted during the MG19 are increasingly indispensable and required in international contexts and various operational theaters and allow the Italian Air Force to develop its own Projection Capacity from the Air with C130J and C27J aircraft.
Italian aircraft and crews have successfully carried out all the planned missions, often with sudden changes of profiles, typical of such complex and mixed exercises. The Italian deployment included a maintenance team of the Aircraft Efficiency Group of the 46th Brigade which ensured the continued readiness of the C-130J and specialists of the Folgore Brigade (“Riggers”) who, supported by two other specialists of the 3rd Wing, packaged the loads that were launched from the aircraft during the exercise.
In addition to the active participation of 13 countries (Australia, Canada, Chile, France, Italy, Holland, New Zealand, Spain, Qatar, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom), other 12 nations (Saudi Arabia, Austria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Colombia, Germany, Iraq, Japan, Peru, Romania, Uruguay) took part in the activity as observers.
MG19 mainly involved tactical and strategic transport aircraft (C130H/J, C17) and tankers (KC135, A330 MRTT) which carried out an average of 40 daily sorties.