When the 1st Infantry Division Artillery stood up in late 2015, Col. Thomas R. Bolen, DIVARTY commander, emphasized the importance of partnership and the Army total force policy between the Active, National Guard and Reserve components of the Military.
In the spirit of that policy, Soldiers from DIVARTY, 139th Airlift Wing and 130th Field Artillery Brigade conducted a training event from June 3 to 17 at Fort Riley, Kansas.
"The most important thing that we can do when we go to a fight is to bring all of our assets," said Col. Thomas Burke, 130th FA commander. "But, to be able to synchronize those assets is the most challenging piece right there, and everyone has worked together to make this happen."
Partnership is critical, being able to bring all the different organizations together has a bigger effect by building the forces capabilities as a whole, according to Burke.
With partnership being the center of this training, a table three emergency deployment readiness exercise was conducted June 7, when a C-130 Hercules aircraft loaded a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System -- nearly 32,000 pounds -- at Rosecrans Memorial Airport in St. Joseph, Missouri, and transported the HIMARS to Fort Riley, Kansas.
"This exercise was a matter of being able to translate the training objectives that the Army has into Air Force training objectives" said Capt. Matthew Zahler, an air mobility liaison officer with the 621st Mobility Support Operations Squadron. "We got the 139th Airlift Wing and the 130th Field Artillery together with DIVARTY to participate in a joint exercise."
Collaboration between these two branches not only helps service members become more tactically proficient, but it expands their professional network as well.
"Anytime we do this joint training, everyone's network gets larger; people meet each other and might actually work together in theater," said Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Rhys Wilson, an aerial port superintendent with the 139th Aerial Port Squadron. "There is a great opportunity that when one of our planes deploy in the future they can be tasked with this mission, and the Army can be tasked to do it in theater with another Air Force unit, and now they have the experience necessary to do it quickly and efficiently."
Deployments are an inevitable part of the military; with this training, the ability to practice in a non-combat zone gave Soldiers the ability to become proficient at their jobs before said deployment.
"The partnerships have been great; we have done a few things in the last year with DIVARTY and now this with the C-130," said Army Staff Sgt. Aaron Cairo, section chief, 130th FA. "It's very important; we have trained for this before but never actually gotten to do it, and having to do that down range for a deployment scenario would be tougher without having had this practice."
Using the Army total force policy, service members will become more unified in actions, and they will be better equipped to handle deployments as a whole.
"One force" is more than just a slogan, Wilson said.