CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – A large C-17 formation flew over the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge on Thursday as part of a Joint Base Charleston training exercise.

The formation of more than 20 C-17 aircraft from the 437th Airlift Wing traveled north over the bridge from the direction of the Atlantic Ocean where they first organized and then high above the bridge shortly after 11:00 a.m.

Officials with Joint Base Charleston (JBC) said the showing initiates a day-long mission generation exercise that “serves as the kick-off event for Mobility Guardian 2023,” which is Air Mobility Command’s premier air mobility exercise in the Indo-Pacific region this summer. 

“We hope the Lowcountry can come out and witness Joint Base Charleston’s airpower in action,” said Col. Robert Lankford, 437th AW commander. “It is a sight to be seen, and we appreciate all the support from the local community as we train and operate to preserve our nation’s freedom.”

Officials said the mission generation exercise will involve Air Force, Army, and Marine forces, to demonstrate and test their ability to respond to global threats at a moment’s notice.

Dozens of spectators gathered to watch the special flight at Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park, on the pedestrian lane of the Ravenel Bridge, at Joe Riley Waterfront Park, and along the Battery in downtown Charleston.

JBC said people who capture photos or video of the flyover are encouraged to post them to social media using the hashtag #MG23.

News 2’s Raymond Owens has a seat aboard one of the C-17 aircraft and will bring us a behind-the-scenes look at Thursday’s flyover and training exercise.