JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas --
More than 40 Reserve Citizen Airmen from several units in the 433rd Airlift Wing and the 502nd Air Base Wing assembled to train on cargo airlift preparation and loading procedures here Nov. 6 and 7.
Airmen from the 26th and 74th Aerial Port squadrons, 68th Airlift Squadron, 433rd Contingency Response Flight, 733rd Training Squadron and 502nd Logistics Readiness Squadron prepared the cargo Nov. 6. This included conducting a joint inspection, which is where aerial port representatives and the cargo owners inspect the items for airworthiness together. During this inspection, special cargo handling personnel verify the cargo containers and vehicles are properly prepared and meet the standards for transportation on military aircraft.
The types of training conducted are often completed in smaller components. For this exercise, several units with different specialties and skill sets were pulled together, combining these smaller training components into a larger scenario.
According to Tech. Sgt. John Shue, 26th Aerial Port Squadron ramp services supervisor and one of the lead planners for this exercise, the resulting training more closely resembles what Airmen will encounter in real-world missions and allowed the crews to gain experience preparing them for upcoming deployments.
“This event focused on specialized cargo we don’t normally have access to here,” said Shue. “By working with these other units, we can work with the types of cargo we will see downrange.”
On Nov. 7, 68th Airlift Squadron aircrew members joined the training to practice loading the cargo and vehicles onto a C-5M Super Galaxy cargo aircraft. Airmen practiced driving vehicles and securing the cargo inside the aircraft to prevent movement during flight.
The training event allowed Airmen to gain experience prior to being tasked to deploy.
“We have people who have never deployed before, this is a good experience for them to get ready,” said Shue. “This is some of the best hands-on training we can offer to our Airmen to prepare them for their deployment.”