HOHENFELS, Germany - U.S. Soldiers assigned to 1-214th General Support Aviation Battalion, 12th Combat Aviation Brigade and the 173rd Airborne Brigade rehearsed rapidly moving equipment by sling load via CH-47 Chinook during Saber Junction 20 at Hohenfels Training Area, Germany, Aug. 5, 2020.
Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Patterson, a 12th CAB Standardization Instructor, explained how to perform a sling load.
“We transport vehicles or equipment. We hook up sling loads,” he said. “Which are long straps that we hook up from the vehicle to the helicopter. Then from there, we lift cargo or… equipment off the ground and transport it where it needs to go.”
Patterson also talked about the importance of sling loading during tactical movements and also how sling loading aides troops on the battlefield.
“Being able to sling load equipment is very important because of its expedience,” he said. “ We can get it off the ground fast. A quick movement in the air and quick on the ground for the ground forces to use.”
Patterson then talked about the importance of participating in an exercise like this with the 173rd Airborne Brigade and how this exercise raises both brigades’ readiness.
“Working with the 173rd is a force multiplier for us. It provides both units the opportunity to work together” he said. “We know what to expect when those missions come up and what to expect from each other.”
Saber Junction 2020 is important to the readiness of U.S. and NATO forces in Europe and the training between 12th CAB and the 173rd Airborne Brigade exemplify why Saber Junction 2020 is important.
“Working with the 173rd ensures that when a real-world mission does come up,’ Patterson said. “We are ready to fight.”