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Flying Jennies support special forces Emerald Warrior training

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Ryan Labadens
  • 403rd Wing Public Affairs
Reserve Citizen Airmen from the 815th Airlift Squadron participated in Emerald Warrior 2018, a special operations joint training event here Feb. 26 to March 9 involving units within the U.S. Special Operations Command and Air Force Special Operations Command.

The 815th “Flying Jennies,” a tactical airlift squadron assigned to the 403rd Wing at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, provided C-130J Super Hercules aircraft in support of day and night training missions.

“We had special operations people flying with us to perform different types of jumps out of the aircraft, like high-altitude low-opening (HALO) and high-altitude high-opening (HAHO). Plus we’d do on-loads and offloads where we’d try to get people and equipment on and off the aircraft as quickly as possible between takeoffs and landings,” said Master Sgt. Chris Sentilles, 815th AS loadmaster.

David Patterson, Emerald Warrior 2018 air operations planner, said that this 11th iteration of Emerald Warrior consists of joint training involving each branch of the U.S. military, as well as military personnel from allied nations. Conventional and special operations forces from the Air Force, Army, Navy, and Marine Corps participated in training scenarios alongside North Atlantic Treaty Organization partner forces during the two-week exercise.

“The number one objective here is command and control integration with partner nations,” said Patterson.

Lt. Col. Stuart Rubio, 815th AS commander, said he was proud of how well the Flying Jennies were able to step up and help out with Emerald Warrior.

“The biggest thing I’m proud of is our flexibility,” said Rubio regarding how adaptable the squadron members were in being available to participate. “I was impressed with our folks just having the ability to take on whatever was thrown their way. We were able to lean forward and get a lot of the missions done that we were asked to do.”

The last day of the 815th’s participation in Emerald Warrior was actually the first training flight for one 815th AS loadmaster, Senior Airman Chris Soto, who just returned from his technical training school. Soto said he was excited to put everything he learned at school the past year to use.

“The best part of the flight is when you are cleared by the pilot to open the ramp door and watch those guys jumps out,” said Soto. “I’m proud to be serving with an amazing group of Airmen at the 815th and can’t wait to get back up there and do it again.”