Staff Reporter 

Fairchild exercise to bring thousands to West Plains


September 5, 2019

Fairchild Air Force Base will be hosting what has been described as a “large war exercise” on the West Plains Sept. 8 – 28.

The exercise has been titled “Mobility Guardian” and will bring thousands of military personnel from all over the world, according to information from the West Plains Chamber of Commerce.

According to the U.S. Department of Defense, Mobility Guardian provides a realistic training environment for more than 2,500 airmen and joint and international partners to hone their skills and keep a competitive edge in current and future conflicts.

“Mobility Airmen must be prepared to deliver rapid global mobility now and in the future,” Air Mobility Command’s commander Gen. Maryanne Miller said in a statement. “Through robust and relevant training, Mobility Guardian is designed to build full spectrum readiness, adding additional layers of complexity to conduct operations in contested, degraded and operationally-limited environments.”

More than 60 aircraft comprised of 10 different airframes are scheduled to participate in the exercise.

A total of three planning conferences occurred to collaborate and finalize the logistics and organization of events for airmen from 47 wings along with 26 other organizations to determine scenarios that will be used during the exercise, according to a press release by Air Mobility Command.

This year’s exercise has evolved to test forces against new scenarios replicating current threats as well as any higher-end threats airmen may face in the future, including an expanded aeromedical evacuation scenario and an exercise environment that involves operations when communications are contested, according to the release.

So far, 2,300 rooms have been booked in the Spokane area for those dates.

Food trucks will reportedly be brought on-base to meet increased dining needs, but restaurants in the area are being encouraged to anticipate an uptick in dinner-hour customers during the 20-day exercise. The Chamber noted that most military personnel receive about $60 per diem per day for food.

“Team Fairchild Airmen are excited and ready to host Air Mobility Command’s most robust exercise,” 92nd Air Refueling Wing commander Col. Derek Salmi said in the release. “Global reach is only possible because of the dedication and expertise of our airmen in delivering cargo, personnel, fuel and lifesaving care anywhere around the world. Mobility Guardian will put all of these capabilities — and more — to the test as we train with our joint and international partners to operate in contested environments together.” 

Shannen Talbot can be reached at


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