TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Air Force, Army and contractors conducted a joint training exercise Sept. 20 – 21, at Fort Campbell Army Airfield, Kentucky.
The training involved aerial port air transportation specialists from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, and loadmasters from Travis AFB, California, providing hands-on training to soldiers from the 372nd Inland Cargo Transfer Company (ICTC) and 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell.
The training consisted of load planning, pallet securing procedures and loading cargo into a C-5M Super Galaxy.
Master Sgt. Robert Strecker, 621st Mobility Support Operations Squadron from JB McGuire Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, Expeditionary Air Ground Liaison Element (EAGLE) team chief, said this joint service training is critical for service members to expand on their securing and loading procedures.
“If a unit is deployed and needs our assistance we can be out there to help them in under 12 hours,” said Strecker. “Any emergency airlift moves, humanitarian moves or special forces moves, we have the ability to go out to their unit to help them prepare their load at a moment’s notice.”
The EAGLE mission assists with deployment or redeployment cargo preparation from air, land or sea services making them one of a kind, Strecker said.
“What EAGLE does now is a brand new ability to the Air Force,” Strecker said as Airmen and Soldiers were training together behind him. “We have the ability to go out to any deployable location and offer assistance with cargo preparations.”
The joint training offered soldiers familiarity with loading equipment to aircraft, said Strecker.
“This kind of training is rare for the team,” said Capt. Morgan Kiser, 372nd ICTC commander. “It’s not every day we get to have a C-5 to train on.”
This joint training is one of many more to come, said Capt. Zachary McColgan, 22nd AS pilot and aircraft commander.
The 22nd plans to have monthly off-station training missions starting January 2021, by the direction of the Air Mobility Command leadership.
“This training was very important for us to gain familiarity with different types of cargo loads from other services,” said McColgan. “And, gives invaluable exposure to the young load masters on our team who are seeing these types of cargo loads for the first time.”