Fifteen C-17 cargo planes to fly out of Charleston AFB Wednesday

A group of C-17 aircraft lined up at the Charleston Air Force Base in 2009. Post and Courier file photo

A training exercise that will put 15 C-17 cargo planes in the air is scheduled for Wednesday morning out of Charleston Air Force Base.

The jets will take off and depart on a route that will include airdrops, aerial refueling and low level tactical training.

“This exercise is not in response to real-world events,” the Air Force said. The drill comes as North Korea is the latest global hot spot.

The large formation exercise, known as an LFE, includes active-duty airmen from the 437th Airlift Wing, and reservists from the 315th Airlift Wing. The last such LFE was conducted in 2010.

The event will complete over 600 training requirements and will test base mission readiness. The planes will launch at 30-second intervals and once in the air, the fleet is expected to reach a 10-mile long “in-trail formation.”

“These skills are needed at all times to ensure the Joint Base Charleston team can move large amounts of forces, cargo or passengers when called upon or when ordered to evacuate due to an incoming hurricane,” the base said in a news release.

Officials earlier said up to 21 planes would be involved but scaled that back.

The exercise has been coordinated with the Charleston County Aviation Authority and will not delay regularly scheduled flights at Charleston International Airport.

Reach Schuyler Kropf at 937-5551.

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