HUNTER ARMY AIRFIELD, Ga. - U.S. Army Soldiers assigned to the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, conducted joint air load operations training with Airmen from the 621st Mobility Support Operations Squadron from Oct. 6-9 at Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia.
The joint training spanned over four days and start with Soldiers going through a pallet-building class. This classed allowed Soldiers to learn how to build pallets and package gear for transport on the aircrafts.
The Soldiers spent the next three days learning how to weigh, load and strap down Army wheeled vehicles and rotary winged aircraft inside of a C-5M Super Galaxy aircraft and a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft.
“This training is vital to ensuring that the joint forces are ready to safely and efficiently load equipment onto Air Mobility Command aircraft, ensuring rapid global mobility and combat power projection,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Brendan Djernes, an air mobility liaison officer attached to the 3rd ID.
The training allowed for Soldiers and Airmen from all levels to work together. On the junior side, Airmen taught the Soldiers how to properly secure cargo inside of an aircraft.
“This training helps Soldiers, Noncommissioned officers and Officers because of the amount of planning and all of the moving pieces,” said Army 1st Lt. Ryan Newfrock, a Soldier assigned to 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 3rd CAB.
Army officers and NCOs worked and coordinated alongside their Air Force counterparts in planning and strategizing all the moving pieces. Though the servicemembers fight for the same team, the different branches use their own nomenclature, essentially their own language.
“The biggest challenge in the joint environment is ensuring that all participants are on the same page. Planning and communication leading up to execution are the keys to success,” said Air Force Maj Craig Carlson, chief air mobility liaison officer for 3rd ID. “Actually preparing, folding, and loading an aircraft provides unique challenges and perspectives that can easily be overlooked on a table-top exercise.”
Training like this allows for everyone involved to develop a deeper knowledge base of a mass logistical movement, which in turn, helps increase efficiency, said 1st Lt. Newfrock.
The air load training allowed all of those involved to get their hand dirty. From the senior NCOs and officers coordinating movement and logistics, to junior personnel loading equipment, the training fostered interoperability among branches and increased readiness to go anywhere the nation requires.