Major Military Exercise Held In Carolinas

Aug 11, 2019

Folks in and around Charleston, South Carolina, might have noticed a heavier-than-usual military presence this past week.

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Conrad Stewart, a motor transport operator assigned to the 18th Field Artillery Brigade, 188th Brigade Support Battalion from Fort Bragg, N.C., directs army vehicles onto Logistics Naval Vessel Cape Decision during Exercise Dragon Lifeline Aug. 7, 2019, at the Federal Law enforcement Training Center in Charleston, S.C.
Credit TECH SGT. CHRISTOPHER HUBENTHAL / U.S. AIR FORCE

The city's roads, ports and railways were all part of an exercise called Dragon Lifeline that involved upwards of 200 soldiers and dozens of Humvees, ships and airplanes, according to The Associated Press.

Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs says the exercise was designed to practice the U.S. military's ability to rapidly deploy personnel and equipment.

“Charleston is unique because it provides us the capability to exercise at scale,” U.S. Army Brig. Gen. James Smith, commanding general of the Fort Bragg-based 3rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command said in a military recap of the exercise. “The Army’s No. 1 priority right now is readiness. We have our soldiers and leadership conducting rail load operations, vessel operations and air load operations, all with the intent of maintaining our expeditionary posture in the event we have to deploy into a combat zone or in response to a humanitarian effort.”

The Air Force, Army and Navy all participated.

A U.S. Army Humvee sits on the cargo bay of a C-17 Globemaster III, assigned to the 437th Airlift Wing, as part of Exercise Dragon Lifeline August 8, 2019, above South Carolina.
Credit STAFF SGT. TENLEY LONG / U.S. AIR FORCE

The exercise got started Monday with a convoy of soldiers from Fort Bragg travelling more than 200 miles to Joint Base Charleston, according to the AP.

Included in the convoy were trailers, refrigeration units and cargo containers.

Soldiers unloaded and reloaded equipment at ports and railways near the Naval Weapons Station, and C-17 planes flew the equipment back to Fort Bragg. Some of the equipment was also shipped by boat to Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Virginia, according to the AP.