"The realism of it is extremely important, and with the joint forces aspect, we are really able to build in that realism," continued Weber. "Having air support, the thunder and boom, smoke going off, IEDs going off around you, it all builds a sense of urgency."
Though authenticity was a big portion of the exercise, getting good, solid training was paramount to the training's success, which meant some actors had to break role and instruct from time to time.
"You obviously want realism here and a sense of urgency with the chaos, but if you continue to do something wrong, it's negative learning," explained Lt. Col. Charles Good, a 434th ARW combat readiness 'OK, this is how it really needs to be,' so you can turn that negative in the positive."
Having Airmen and Marines work hand-in-hand also provided for an expanded scenario that offered unique training opportunities, said Trouerbach.
"Collectively, the joint operations with the Air Force were great because we got to utilize their security forces as well as their medical staff to deal with multiple scenarios at the same time," Trouerbach explained. "The training environment was phenomenal for the Marines and Airmen."
Working together also provided the servicemembers with an exercise in communication and teamwork.
"We speak different languages and don't always use the same acronyms, so it's very important to learn how to communicate with each other, not just over radio, but person to person," said Trouerbach. "We need to learn how to build relationships with each other, trust each other, and have a one-team, one-fight mentality."
And, come together as one team for one fight they did as Operation Rudy Strong kicked off early Sunday morning with a Marine assault force swooping in via ground convoy and helicopter to secure a voting facility at Grissom's old fire station.