US soldiers and airmen have conducted a joint live-fire M142 high-mobility artillery rocket systems rapid infiltration (HI-RAIN) exercise at Schoonover in California, US.
Involving six C-17 Globemaster III transport aircraft, 12 M142 high-mobility artillery rocket systems and more than 100 personnel from the 5th Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment, the week-long exercise was aimed at providing hands-on training in a simulated deployed environment to maintain readiness of airmen and soldiers.
Alpha Battery 5-3 FA Bn., 17th Fires Brigade section chief army staff sergeant Gilbert Wood said: "These exercises expand our capabilities and prepare us to deploy in real world scenarios."
The exercise follows months of planning, which included joint-concept briefings to help participants coordinate and plan the timeline for the exercise.
During the planning period, the aircrews also took into consideration the environmental factors of Schoonover's dirt runway, which required taking into effect semi-prepared runway operations (SPRO).
10th Airlift Squadron loadmaster staff sergeant Liam McPhail said: "The time constraints to do everything within the set timeline and to assist the pilots on SPRO are challenging and crucial tasks.
''It's kind of a big deal to be able to land on a dirt strip and fire live rockets from HIMARS immediately after landing."
Air Mobility liaison officer captain Evan McLaughlin said: "As a result of exercises like HI-RAIN, JBLM units are developing tactics,techniques and procedures for future missions.
"This is a simple and sustainable programme that provides real world combat training to airmen and soldiers of JBLM, while building stronger relationships."
Image: US soldiers fire rockets from a M142 high-mobility artillery rocket system during a HIMARS rapid infiltration exercise at Schoonover, California, US. Photo: courtesy of US Air Force airman 1st class Jacob Jimenez.