By Tech. Sgt. Aaron Oelrich, 15th Wing Public Affairs
Airmen from the 535th Airlift Squadron (AS) and Soldiers from the Headquarters 2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, conducted static upload training of Army vehicles into a C-17 Globemaster III, March 18.
According to Staff Sgt. Ryan Lockhart, a loadmaster from the 535th AS, the training was conducted to familiarize Air Force load-master and Army infantrymen on how to upload and secure vehicles in the C-17.
Loadmasters from the 535th AS trained on backing vehicles with trailers into the C-17 and loading side-by-side cargo, as well as ensuring required shipping documentation was in order.
“This is great practice. We load Army vehicles like this all the time when we are deployed,” said Lockhart. “It is better to learn in a controlled environment like this, so that when we are deployed we can load up and get back in the air as quickly as possible.”
Capt. Eli Gaylor, a unit movement officer from Headquarters 2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, said in addition to helping the Air Force loadmaster, this training is essential for the 25th ID Soldiers. The Soldiers are part of a contingence response force that responds to any type of operation within the Pacific’s area of responsibility.
“We could be deployed in a matter of hours to help resolve whatever issue may arise,” said Gaylor. “The Soldiers need to be able to react and get the vehicles loaded onto the aircraft as quickly as possible. It is important for our Soldiers to get this training. It gives them familiarity with how to complete the task efficiently.”
The team, consisting of six Air Force loadmasters and six Army infantrymen, was tasked with loading three tactical bases of operations vehicles with trailers into the C-17 and secured them to complete the training.
According to Army Sgt. 1st Class Benjamin Pritchard from the 5th Battlefield Coordination Detachment, 380th Ground Liaison Office attached to the 15th Wing, this type of joint training is fairly routine.
“What I’ve noticed is this type of training is perishable,” said Pritchard. “It needs repetition for both sides so it will become muscle memory, especially with new Air Force loadmasters, Army unit movement officers and Soldiers constantly rotating in and out of their units.”