MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. --
During January's Unit Training Assembly, personnel with the 25th Aerial Port Squadron partnered with the 312th Airlift Squadron and 60th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron to complete vital readiness training.
The 349th Air Mobility Wing crew from Travis Air Force Base, California, landed Friday, Jan. 6, on a C-5M Super Galaxy, which would be used for training the remainder of the weekend. The purpose of the total force team up was to have loadmasters from 312 AS train on their job skills while simultaneously training 25 APS air transportation specialists on their skills.
“The success of this training mission was the result of months of planning, effective coordination and teaming with several other sections,” said Master Sgt. Joseph Saldivar, 25 APS air transportation specialist. “Thanks to our functional manager and higher-level leadership, we were able to test and strengthen our belief in the system.”
Once Travis AFB responded to the training request, 25 APS began preparing for their arrival Friday. They divided their manning capabilities into two teams. The morning shift was tasked with receiving all the equipment to process, select, inspect and weigh for a simulated outbound mission while the night shift staged the equipment for loading.
On Saturday morning, the air transportation specialists received a mass safety brief from the C-5 crew members. Once the briefing concluded, the specialists participated in active on-loading and off-loading of equipment to simulate in-bound, outbound and in-transit airlift missions. At the same time, the other air terminal functions were inspecting, weighing, and measuring vehicles and support equipment for aircraft loading.
“This activity was exactly what we needed to engage our young team here at 25 APS,” said Saldivar. “As we prepare to meet current taskings, it is critical to keep training ongoing. We are committed to advancing our Airmen’s competency levels and providing them the opportunity to understand the environment they will be exposed to.”
Throughout the rest of the day, the passenger service section used the 908 AW Development and Training Flight to manifest them as passengers on a simulated flight, while the aircrew reconfigured the plane and trained 25 APS on using a next generation small loader to upload and offload three pieces of rolling stock. The training day culminated with a tie-down class provided by the C-5 aircrew.
When Sunday rolled around, the personnel started with breaking down seven pallets and simulating delivery to the end-user. They also performed an engine-running off-loading exercise, composed of a five-person team who drove several vehicles out of the aircraft’s forward fuselage. This type of training provided the aircrew the opportunity to sign-off on their newly assigned checklist items and provided 25 APS personnel operational proficiency training used to operate in high threat environments.
Master Sgt. Partick Ezelle, an air transportation ramp specialist with 25 APS, indicated that without the resources Travis AFB provided, training would look differently for Airmen and their supervisors. There were Airmen who had never been in an aircraft until that moment. They were left with a better understanding of their role.
“I think it's great to have another unit help us out with training, especially since we don't have as many resources now that we [currently don’t have aircraft],” Ezelle expressed. “Thanks to the assets from Travis, we received invaluable lessons that will help us to perform our job tasks more efficiently.”
To 25 APS, this visit meant more than receiving resources to train, it was also valuable to observe a combination of skills, experience levels, ranks, lessons and techniques that they can implement in future exercises. It also aligned with the 25 APS core mission to develop, train and sustain, as well as the 908 AW mission to develop and deliver multi-capable Airmen. Overall, the training provided a real-world operational working environment and strengthened our relationship with another Air Force Reserve Command wing.