PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --
Aircraft aircrew members and aerial port personnel from three Air Force Reserve Command Airlift Wings joined forces Nov. 16-19, to participate in the seventh annual loadmaster and second annual flight engineer refresher training event.
Airmen and aircraft from the 934th Airlift Wing, Minneapolis-St. Paul Air Reserve Station, Minnesota and the 94th Airlift Wing, Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Georgia joined the host unit, 302nd Airlift Wing, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, to hone their skills and practice aircraft loading techniques.
For the loadmasters, one day was dedicated to classroom instruction and one day was spent on the aircraft for hands-on training. The 30 flight engineers who attended their refresher, spent most of their time in the classroom learning about new systems and upgrades.
“It was mainly to gain more knowledge,” said Master Sgt. Dan Landers, a C-130 flight engineer from the 302nd AW standards and evaluations office. “It was also to increase our training and just get to know the other guys from the different units.”
The loadmasters said the interaction between the units was extremely valuable.
“We try, once a year, to get 22nd Air Force C-130 units together as a group, get the cross talk going between the units and learn what the units are doing. We also learn from their recent deployment experiences,” said Senior Master Sgt. Mark Skarban, the 302nd Operations Support Squadron superintendent and C-130 loadmaster who organized this year’s training.
Besides sharing information about deployments and what to expect down range, the training also covered topics such as winching, ramp angle calculations, towed parachute retrieval system, load jacking and restraint tie-down among many others.
During the hands-on portion, aerial port Airmen and a C-130 aircrew gave a demonstration of a “Method B” offload. This is a method of unloading a pallet train of two or more pallets in an austere location when the aircrew might not have the equipment they would normally have, such as a K-loader.
“A lot of these things you don’t see necessarily CONUS [continental United States], but once we deploy it’s good to be familiar with these methods,” said Tech. Sgt. Kristina Marshall, an air transportation craftsman with the 302nd AW’s 39th Aerial Port Squadron.
Marshall also values the opportunity to work with the loadmasters.
“It’s extremely important, very critical, we work hand in hand. A lot of times I feel we are one big family. Being able to have that training opportunity with them and to be able to create cohesion and effective teams makes sure we are managing and using our resources correctly, in order to get the big Air Force mission done,” said Marshall.
Between the three wings there were more than 100 Reserve Citizen Airman that participated in the training this year. It’s an event that builds knowledge and camaraderie.
“I get a lot of pride out of this. It’s great to see three squadrons come and work together and have the same objective of training and become better at their aircrew positions,” said Chief Master Sgt. Jeff Flight, 731st Airlift Squadron loadmaster superintendent.