Ramstein exercise generates mass airlift capability

by Senior Airman Devin M. Rumbaugh
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules aircraft line up on the runway for an elephant walk on Ramstein Air Base, Nov. 8. The elephant walk was part of a mass generation exercise held by the 86th Airlift Wing. — Photo by Airman 1st Class Milton Hamilton

Airmen assigned to the 86th Airlift Wing successfully conducted a mass generation exercise preparing multiple C-130J Super Hercules aircraft, a multi-aircraft sortie, and an elephant walk prior to takeoff on Ramstein Air Base, Nov 8.

A U.S. Air Force crew chief assigned to the 86th Maintenance Squadron seals a C-130J Super Hercules aircraft window on Ramstein Air Base, Nov. 6. Crew chiefs with the 86th MXS ensure aircraft are safe and can be deemed air-worthy. — Photos by Senior Airman Devin M. Rumbaugh

Airmen assigned to multiple units across the base had a hand in the exercise, as it takes a team to prepare, launch, and execute the mission. Each C-130J can carry 90 troops, or 40,000 pounds of cargo, and demonstrates why the installation is unmatched in its ability to deliver precise combat airpower.

“Although the airplanes that [took] off from Ramstein are the most visible aspect of our demonstration of force and American airpower, it is just one part of this exercise,” said Col. Joseph Wenckus, 86th Airlift Wing vice commander. “This mass generation included all six groups at the 86th Airlift Wing.”

The 86th Airlift Wing is U.S. Air Forces in Europe’s only airlift, airdrop, and aeromedical evacuation operations capability and provides Professional Airlift to any country, any time, from the pavement up.

“Exercises like the mass generation exercise here at Ramstein allow us to increase our readiness and our resilience, to face a whole host and wide range of contingencies, from whatever may break out in Africa or here in Europe,” said Wenckus. “This mass generation exercise demonstrates America’s will and resolve, both to our allies and our adversaries that we can project airpower anywhere through Europe and Africa at a moments’ notice.”

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Sean Taylor, 86th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron flying crew chief, watches as a C-130J Super Hercules aircraft is refueled on Ramstein Air Base, Oct. 31. Crew chiefs ensure the aircraft is ready for aircrew to accomplish the mission.


U.S. Airmen assigned to the 37th Airlift Squadron conduct a pre-flight brief on Ramstein Air Base, Nov. 8. Pilots and loadmasters work hand-in-hand to ensure flights are accomplished safely and efficiently.


U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Crystal Reese, 37th Airlift Squadron C-130J Super Hercules loadmaster, stands ready to conduct a cargo delivery system equipment drop during a nighttime sortie over a drop zone in Germany, Nov. 8. Reese was responsible for verifying the cargo left the aircraft without issue and at the allotted time.


An 86th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief stands ready as a C-130J Super Hercules aircraft begins start up procedures on Ramstein Air Base, Nov. 6. Crew chiefs are responsible for the aircraft on the ground while aircrew are responsible for the aircraft during missions.