Boeing C-17 Globemasters assigned to the U.S. Air Force’s 62nd Airlift Wing practice deploying Marines of the III Marine Expeditionary Force from Japan to Wake Island on November 5. Rainier War 21B exercised and evaluated the 62nd Airlift Wing’s ability to employ the force and their ability to perform during wartime and contingency taskings in a high-intensity, wartime contested, degraded and operationally limited environment while supporting the contingency operations against a near-peer adversary in the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command area of responsibility. This iteration of Rainier War builds on the Agile Combat Employment (ACE) lessons learned from the spring exercise.
This time, we are actually demonstrating the Wing’s ability to project combat power into and integrate with Joint Forces throughout the Pacific theatre as we continue to develop ACE. The exercise will include processing and preparing personnel and cargo for a deployment, specialized fueling operations and other incidents and scenarios that test Team McChord’s responses. Additionally, personnel will operate in a contested, degraded and operationally limited environment, particularly with enemy disruption of the base’s communications capabilities, forcing Airmen to consistently adapt to changing conditions and generate creative solutions.
The 62nd Airlift Wing, sometimes written as 62d Airlift Wing, (62 AW) is a wing of the United States Air Force stationed at Joint Base Lewis–McChord, Washington. It is assigned to the Eighteenth Air Force of Air Mobility Command and is active duty host wing on McChord. The wing is composed of more than 2,200 active duty military and civilian personnel. It is tasked with supporting worldwide combat and humanitarian airlift contingencies. In August 2021, aircraft from 62 AW joined efforts to evacuate Americans and Afghan Allies from Kabul during the fall of the Afghan government to the Taliban, during the 2021 Taliban offensive and the subsequent Fall of Kabul.
The McDonnell Douglas/Boeing C-17 Globemaster III is a large military transport aircraft that was developed for the United States Air Force (USAF) from the 1980s to the early 1990s by McDonnell Douglas. The C-17 carries forward the name of two previous piston-engined military cargo aircraft, the Douglas C-74 Globemaster and the Douglas C-124 Globemaster II. The C-17 commonly performs tactical and strategic airlift missions, transporting troops and cargo throughout the world; additional roles include medical evacuation and airdrop duties. It was designed to replace the Lockheed C-141 Starlifter, and also fulfill some of the duties of the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy.