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News | April 4, 2024

Army and Air Force Conduct Swamp Avenger Joint Training Exercise

By Pfc. Tiana Brown 3rd Infantry Division

Soldiers, assigned to the 5th Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team (5-7 CAV), 3rd Infantry Division (3ID), trained with Airmen from the 621st Mobility Support Operations Squadron (MSOS) and 437th Airlift Wing (AW) on loading and unloading armored vehicles onto aircraft at Hunter Army Airfield, Savannah, Georgia, Apr. 2, 2024.

Swamp Avenger is a joint readiness exercise intended to combat futuristic threat scenarios by mirroring real-world events. On day one, Soldiers from 5-7 CAV worked in conjunction with the 621st MSOS early in the morning to secure the airfield and establish security operations.

Tracked and wheeled armored vehicles were then loaded onto C-17 and C-5 aircraft along with gear and crew. From there, the planes departed from Hunter Army Airfield to the North Aux Airfield at Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina.

“Usually the Army gets equipment overseas by boat which takes a long time but the joint effort with the Air Force makes that a faster process,” said 1st Lt. Ethan Kim, assigned as the 5-7 CAV, 2nd platoon leader. “Utilizing aircraft increases our ability to be in the fight to help allies overseas. As warfare evolves we have to rely on the Air Force and Navy as well as other sectors to complete the mission wherever it may be.”

The second day of the Swamp Avenger exercise included the finalization of equipment inspections and preparation by loading Immediate Response Package (IPR) equipment onto the C-17s before departure from Hunter Army Airfield to the Wright Army Airfield at Fort Stewart, Georgia.

“I’ve been in the Army for 7 years and I’ve never had the experience of acting like we’re deploying in a fast assault-like style,” said Staff Sgt. Preston McCoy, 5-7 CAV Bradley commander and section leader. “Having this intensity and training so no one is lost when it actually happens makes it fluent for when we’re downrange.”

Although the training focused primarily on the timeliness of loading and unloading cargo, the Swamp Avenger exercise created an opportunity for the Army and Air Force to understand each other’s capabilities and communicate effectively to ensure mission success.

“By training the way we fight, we are better prepared when our support is needed overseas,” said Maj. Richard Huffhines, an instructor pilot assigned to the 437th AW. “Moving equipment in an exercise like this helps the loadmasters and everyone involved understand how it’s going to look when we’re supporting the Army, Navy or Marine in real conflict. We know the packing list to support our brothers and sisters in arms because we practice and train to be ready when called.”

Joint operations like Swamp Avenger bolster cohesion across military branches in order to support and serve Allies around the world.