By Pfc. Jared S. Eastman, 1st HBCT Public AffairsJune 25, 2009
Fort Stewart, Ga.- The 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team made Humvees fly, June 19 at Wright Army Airfield as part of their sling-load training.
Logistics teams from across the brigade went to the one-week training course, culminating with this event.
"Today, we are teaching a one week sling load course at Fort Stewart to certify the service members on how to rig and hook up vehicles for sling-load operations," said Staff Sgt. Shawn Coppola, sling-load instructor, Company C, 262nd Quartermaster Battalion Aerial Delivery and Field Services Department. "We've been out at Hunter Army Airfield training these last four days, then moved out to Wright Army Airfield for the certification."
The training was a success but not without its trials and hardships.
"Everything went well today, besides the heat," said Sgt. Coppola. "I was certified for sling- load operations in 1998, and I started teaching it in 2006. "It took a while to learn how to teach it after being certified."
The Soldiers were glad for the training and learned a lot about rigging sling-loads.
"During our class here we have gone over how to do basic loads, Humvees, cargo nets and cargo bags and we learned how to rig and inspect them," said Sgt. Yashica Riley, Company D, 5/7 Cavalry, prescribed load-lifts noncommissioned officer in charge. "I think it went very well. It was an interesting class and informative. The class is also important for the logistics in today's Army."
Sling loads can be used for all kinds of missions, from resupplying forward operating bases to moving vehicles.
"It's very important that Soldiers understand the capabilities of the aircraft and their equipment," said Staff Sgt. Coppola. "They need to know how to inspect it and make sure it is correct. This class did very well, but every unit and individual is different."
He said sling-load operations are a vital part of Army logistics. In a changing battlefield the more options to resupply a location the better. Sling- load operations also allow for a quick rig and drop, a testimony to both the pilots flying the aircraft and the Soldiers on the ground.