JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - Soldiers from 8th Squadron, 1st U.S. Cavalry, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, and airmen from the 7th Airlift Squadron, 62nd Airlift Wing, participated in the Rainier War Joint Deployment Readiness Exercise at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, June 6, 2018.

A top priority for the Army is unit readiness, to ensure that Soldiers have the necessary tools and training needed to rapidly deploy, fight and win our nation's wars in any environment. An exercise like Rainier War allows both the Army and Air Force to train on rapid deployment tactics as a team.

"If we were to deploy, this type of training is good for our unit's overall readiness," said Spec. Garrett Proctor, an infantryman with D Troop, 8th Squadron, 1st U.S. Cavalry. "We learned a new skill set which would be beneficial not only for our unit, but the brigade."

During the exercise, the Soldiers were taught by the airmen on how to load, tie down, and unload their equipment onto a C-17 aircraft efficiently. The C-17 is capable of rapid strategic delivery of troops and all types of cargo to main operating bases across the globe.

"There is a lot of work to get the vehicles into the plane, having to do all the tips and scales, then putting the vehicles on the plane perfectly," said Spec. Edward Joseph, an infantryman from D Troop, 8th Squadron, 1st U.S. Cavalry.

D Troop was able to carry out the mission flawlessly and now understands what it takes to deploy 36 Soldiers and airmen and six Strykers by air from JBLM to Fort Hunter-Liggett, California.

"We now have a platoon within the brigade that knows how to load, [and] unload an aircraft, quickly, properly, and efficiently," said Proctor. "We would be able to assist the other platoons load and unload when called upon."

Reoccurring realistic training exercises like Rainier War clearly demonstrates 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team's readiness to rapidly deploy via strategic airlift.

"Training with the Air Force, we became more familiarized with the C-17 and loading equipment onto them," said Joseph. "In case we ever are called to battle, we will be prepared, we will be able to just knock it out instead of relying on the Air Force working most of the load."