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Hawaii ANG, active duty Airmen join European partners in Swift Response 19

Staff Sgt. Michelle Ganoy, 154th Maintenance Squadron crew chief, and Master Sgt. Rodd Maeyoshimoto, 154 Aircraft Maintenance Squadron integrated instrument and flight control lead technician, prep a C-17 Globemaster III for flight June 17, 2019, at Ramstein Air Base, Germany.

Staff Sgt. Michelle Ganoy, 154th Maintenance Squadron crew chief, and Master Sgt. Rodd Maeyoshimoto, 154 Aircraft Maintenance Squadron integrated instrument and flight control lead technician, prep a C-17 Globemaster III for flight June 17, 2019, at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. Ganoy departed with the aircraft for an overnight mission; a responsibility reserved for flying crew chiefs. These competent Airmen are responsible for diagnosing and correcting any potential mechanical issues while in the air and in remote locations. Members of the Hawaii Air National Guard temporarily relocated to Europe to participate in the multinational exercise, Swift Response 19. The annual training event is led by U.S. Army Europe and entails a series of airborne operations in Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania from June 13-25. Swift response highlights the inherent flexibility of ground and air forces to rapidly respond to crises, allowing for the right presence wherever and whenever needed. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman John Linzmeier)

Tech. Sgt. Joe Alejandro, 154 Aircraft Maintenance Squadron engine mechanic, Tech. Sgt. Mike Steinbrecher, 15th Maintenance Squadron electrical and environmental systems craftsman, repair a C-17 Globemaster III engine June 17, 2019, at Ramstein Air Base, Germany.

Tech. Sgt. Joe Alejandro, 154 Aircraft Maintenance Squadron engine mechanic, Tech. Sgt. Mike Steinbrecher, 15th Maintenance Squadron electrical and environmental systems craftsman, repair a C-17 Globemaster III engine June 17, 2019, at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. The Airmen are integrated into a total-force team, comprised of members of the Hawaii Air National Guard and active duty Airmen from the 15th Wing. The blended team temporarily relocated to Europe to participate in the multinational exercise, Swift Response 19. The annual training event is led by U.S. Army Europe and entails a series of airborne operations in Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania from June 13-25. Swift Response promotes regional stability and security, while increasing readiness, strengthening capabilities and fostering trust amongst international partners. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman John Linzmeier)

Hawaii Air National Guard pilots assigned to the 204th Airlift Squadron, fly a C-17 Globemaster III toward Ramstein Air Base, Germany, June 14 ,2019.

Hawaii Air National Guard pilots assigned to the 204th Airlift Squadron, fly a C-17 Globemaster III toward Ramstein Air Base, Germany, June 14 ,2019. The aircrew airdropped soldiers and equipment assigned to the 1st Battalion, 143rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade as part of exercise Swift Response 19. The nighttime operation was one of several training activities which enable participants to hone the skills necessary to act as part of an international fighting force. This year’s iteration of Swift Response includes service members from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. Swift Response promotes regional stability and security, while increasing readiness, strengthening partner capabilities and fostering trust. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman John Linzmeier)

A Texas Army National Guard paratrooper assigned to the 1st Battalion, 143rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade conducts a static-line jump on a C-17 Globemaster III, June 14, 2019, over Boboc Drop Zone, Romania.

A Texas Army National Guard paratrooper assigned to the 1st Battalion, 143rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade conducts a static-line jump on a C-17 Globemaster III, June 14, 2019, over Boboc Drop Zone, Romania. Hundreds of soldiers were sequentially airdropped by other aircraft from Canada, Italy, Spain, NATO and other U.S. units. The 173rd Airborne Brigade is the U.S. Army Contingency Response Force in Europe, capable of projecting ready forces anywhere in the U.S. European, Africa or Central Commands' areas of responsibility. The operation was practiced for exercise Swift Response 19, a multinational training event that highlights the inherent flexibility of ground and air forces to rapidly respond to crises. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman John Linzmeier)

Texas Army National Guard paratroopers assigned to the 1st Battalion, 143rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade prepare to conduct a static-line jump on a C-17 Globemaster III June 14, 2019, near Boboc Drop Zone, Romania.

Texas Army National Guard paratroopers assigned to the 1st Battalion, 143rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade prepare to conduct a static-line jump on a C-17 Globemaster III June 14, 2019, near Boboc Drop Zone, Romania. The joint forcible entry operation was held during exercise Swift Response 19, to simulate a contested battlefield scenario as a way of training units for dangerous situations that can occur while deployed. Hundreds of other soldiers were sequentially airdropped by aircraft from Canada, Italy, Spain, NATO and other U.S. units. Swift Response is a U.S. Army Europe-led exercise designed to train the U.S. Global Response Force, taking place from June 13-25 at various locations in Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania. The combined training opportunities that the exercise provides greatly improve interoperability among participating allies and partners. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman John Linzmeier)

Aircrew assigned to the Hawaii Air National Guard’s 204th Airlift Squadron and Soldiers assigned to the 1st Battalion, 143rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade, discuss airborne operations on a C-17 Globemaster III June 13, 2019, at Ramstein Air Base, Germany.

Aircrew assigned to the Hawaii Air National Guard’s 204th Airlift Squadron and Soldiers assigned to the 1st Battalion, 143rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade, discuss airborne operations on a C-17 Globemaster III June 13, 2019, at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. A formation of aircraft from Canada, Italy, Spain, NATO and the U.S. conducted a joint forcible entry operation for exercise Swift Response 19. Hundreds of paratroopers assigned to the 173rd AB and pallets of heavy artillery were airdropped into Boboc Drop Zone, Romania, after sunset. The international exercise is held to validate U.S. European Command’s ability to send high readiness forces into a designated area while advancing airborne interoperability among NATO allies. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman John Linzmeier)

A Hawaii Air National Guard loadmaster assigned to the 204th Airlift Squadron surveys a C-17 Globemaster III June 13, 2019, at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, during exercise Swift Response 19.

A Hawaii Air National Guard loadmaster assigned to the 204th Airlift Squadron surveys a C-17 Globemaster III June 13, 2019, at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, during exercise Swift Response 19. The Globemaster flew with other aircraft from Canada, Italy, Spain, NATO and other U.S. units, during a joint forcible entry training mission. Hundreds of paratroopers assigned to the 173rd AB and pallets of heavy artillery were airdropped into Boboc Drop Zone, Romania. Swift Response is a U.S. Army Europe-led exercise designed to train the U.S. Global Response Force, taking place from June 13-25 at various locations in Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania. The training events enables regional partners to respond more effectively to regional crises and meet their own national defense goals. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman John Linzmeier)

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany --

Airmen assigned to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam flew airlift missions throughout Europe June 13-21, for an international-crisis-response exercise, Swift Response 19.

This is the second time a total-force team from the Hawaii Air National Guard’s 154th Wing and the active-duty 15th Wing participated in the exercise with multinational forces in a series of airdrops.

Swift Response is recognized as one of the premier military crisis response training events for airborne forces around the world. This iteration included approximately 5,600 participants from eight allied nations that trained in Bulgaria, Croatia, and Romania, with staging bases in Germany, Italy, Slovenia and the United Kingdom, from June 13-25. 

“Swift Response has been a great overall experience,” said 1st Lt. Justin Sato, 204th Airlift Squadron pilot. “The execution of multiple missions with the Army and international military members showed me how effective we can be as a cohesive force.”

Daily operations for the Hawaii-based Airmen began and ended at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, where they loaded war-fighting assets onto a C-17 Globemaster III. Each payload included a team of U.S. Army paratroopers along with their support equipment, with some loads including 17,000-pound artillery units. 

The exercise featured two overnight, joint forcible entry operations; entailing the insertion of hundreds of U.S., Italian and Spanish paratroopers into drops zones. Both operations were made possible through an armada of C-17 and C-130 aircraft, flown by aircrews from Canada, Italy, Spain, NATO and other U.S. Air Force units. 

The JFE movements involved U.S. Army paratroopers with the 1st Battalion, 143rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade and 2nd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, who jumped alongside international forces.

“We’re always looking forward to jumping with our partners, and these guys [the 204th AS] have made it a very smooth operation for us so far,” said Texas Army National Guard Capt. Ryan Crider, 1st Battalion, 143rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade jumpmaster. “The idea behind airlift is it allows us to secure our objective, such as an airfield, and bring as much combat power to the fight as quickly as possible. Afterward, we’re going to move out to more rugged training areas so we can destroy our common threat.” 

After his team leaped off the C-17 and into darkness, the Soldiers began a field training exercise and joined forces with Soldiers from Germany and the Netherlands. Crider said the field conditions were designed to be severe, to simulate the challenges his troops may face in a real battlefield environment. 

While the airdrops were carried out by pilots and loadmasters with the 204th AS, maintenance Airmen from the 154th Maintenance Squadron played an integral role in the successful airdrops. These specialists and crew chiefs accrued more working hours on the Globemaster than any aircrew member, making sure the aircraft was mission-ready when called upon.

In addition, a small team from the 154th Maintenance Squadron flew with the aircrew as flying crew chiefs during each JFE, to ensure inflight airworthiness is maintained while also making certain the aircraft could arrive and depart safely from each remote location. One of these flying crew chiefs was Staff Sgt. Michelle Ganoy, who said she volunteered for the additional responsibility so she can be involved with a broader mission-set. 

“This was my first time going up as a flying crew chief for an airdrop,” said Ganoy, “being a part of missions like these are a great reminder of how important every role is in mission readiness.” 

While exercise Swift Response is held in a time zone that’s 12 hours separate from the Hawaii islands, the Hawaii Air National Guard remains capable of joining partners in a total-force fight whenever they’re called upon; whether their global reach is needed amongst allies in Europe or any other given continent.