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Altus Airmen support ‘ACE Reaper’ exercise

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A C-17 Globemaster III sits on the runway at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Sept. 9, 2021. Exercise Agile Combat Employment Reaper was the first time an Altus Air Force Base aircraft landed in Hawaii. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kayla Christenson)

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U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. James Delgadillo, 58th Airlift Squadron instructor loadmaster, directs a forklift at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Sept. 9, 2021. More than 30,000 pounds of MQ-9 Reaper assets were loaded in support of exercise Agile Combat Employment Reaper. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kayla Christenson)

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Airmen load a generator into a C-17 Globemaster III at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, Sept. 9, 2021. Three generators were sent to Marine Corps Base Hawaii to support MQ-9 Reaper missions during exercise Agile Combat Employment Reaper. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kayla Christenson)

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Tech. Sgt. Iree Edwards, 4th Logistics Readiness Squadron air transportation function supervisor, secures cargo on a C-17 Globemaster III at Holloman Air Force Base (AFB), New Mexico, Sept. 9, 2021. Airmen from various bases were at Holloman AFB to load and secure MQ-9 assets for the exercise Agile Combat Employment Reaper. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kayla Christenson)

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Airmen push MQ-9 assets onto a C-17 Globemaster III at Holloman Air Force Base (AFB), New Mexico, Sept. 9, 2021. Holloman AFB Airmen loaded the cargo onto the C-17 in less than three hours resulting in an earlier landing in Marine Corps Base Hawaii. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kayla Christenson)

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Senior Airman Felix Puello, 49th Logistics Readiness Squadron air transportation journeyman, pushes a generator onto a C-17 Globemaster III at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, Sept. 9, 2021. Approximately 40 Airmen travelled to Marine Corps Base Hawaii with MQ-9 Reaper assets for programmed flying training and instructor training. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kayla Christenson)

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U.S. Air Force Airman Sean Rochau, 97th Logistics Readiness Squadron (LRS) air transportation apprentice, secures cargo in a C-17 Globemaster III at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Sept. 9, 2021. Two 97th LRS Airmen were sent to support cargo operations as part of exercise Agile Combat Employment Reaper. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kayla Christenson)

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Johnathan Lambert, 97th Maintenance Squadron crew chief, fuels a C-17 Globemaster III at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Sept. 9, 2021. Two C-17 maintainers from Altus AFB ensured the cargo aircraft was working properly throughout exercise Agile Combat Employment Reaper. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kayla Christenson)

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U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Peter McClellan, 97th Air Mobility Wing director of staff, points at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Sept. 9, 2021. Exercise Agile Combat Employment Reaper demonstrated overwater training, joint partnership and planning, as well as instructor pilot and instructor sensor operator joint integration. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kayla Christenson)

ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla-- Airmen from the 58th Airlift Squadron supported exercise “Agile Combat Employment (ACE) Reaper” Sept. 9-10, 2021, by providing airlift capabilities for MQ-9 Reaper assets travelling from Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, to Marine Corps Base Hawaii.

The exercise “ACE Reaper” demonstrated overwater training, joint partnership and planning, as well as instructor pilot and instructor sensor operator joint integration.

“This exercise not only enables us to work with different partners, it also gives our Airmen an opportunity to practice skill sets outside of our normal locations by using different types of equipment and coordinating the equipment we need for our operations,” said Lt. Col. Peter McClellan, 97th Air Mobility Wing director of staff.

Throughout September and early October, multiple C-17 Globemaster IIIs from the 97th AMW will continue to support the exercise, which focuses on rapidly mobilizing MQ-9 assets for MQ-9 deployment readiness.

“We really appreciate the support provided by Altus because they were a key enabler in making this a successful exercise for the entire community,” said Lt. Col. Jaime Olivares, 9th Attack Squadron commander. “Without the support of the C-17s it would have been very difficult to accomplish many of the desired learning objectives for this exercise.”

Every 97th AMW mission is driven to teach Airmen and advance air power. Among the learning objectives, 97th Logistics Readiness Squadron Airmen received training during the exercise by loading, securing and offloading cargo. 

“It's important for permanent party Airmen, the instructors and the supporting Airmen to keep their skills up to date so we can practice what we preach and be the most knowledgeable in what our instructors are teaching,” said McClellan.

McClellan added, along with the training focus, the exercise provided an opportunity for AAFB aircrew to use their diverse skillsets to support the missions of other installations.

“We have a capability of strategic airlift,” he said. “We can assist other sister services to expand their capabilities or to test new capabilities, which helps our Air Force and Department of Defense in the missions that we're sent on.”

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