The 414th Signal Company conducted an emergency deployment readiness exercise, May 14, from Fort Stewart's Wright Army Airfield, loading vehicles and equipment onto a U.S. Air Force C-17.
The exercise, the first EDRE conducted at the installation's airfield, highlights the ability to deploy combat forces directly from Fort Stewart to anywhere in the world. Fort Stewart is a power projection platform for the Department of Defense.
Capt. Tyran Askew, commander of 414th Signal Company, observed as his Soldiers carefully backed a Humvee with a trailered signal dish and light medium tactical vehicle onto the cargo plane out of Charleston. The signal company is part of the 3rd Infantry Division Sustainment Brigade, and the exercise validates the rapid-response capability of the unit.
"We're loading our equipment on to the bird, and we're going to take off as if we were going to fly into theater," Askew said. "In the event we got the call 'we need you to be here, tonight', in 72 hours we would be ready to go."
The company-sized element provides a brigade-sized unit with communications capability. Deploying this or other forces from directly at Fort Stewart is amazing, said Askew.
"It shows that this platform, from a strategic perspective, how quick the United States military can project combat power," he said.
Wright Army Airfield shares its runways with MidCoast Regional Airport, the municipal airport for Hinesville and Liberty County. The airport completed a runway expansion project last year, increasing the runway's capability to handle additional types of civilian and military aircraft.