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Travis AFB Airmen train for arctic weather

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Jonathan Valdes Montijo
  • 673rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Airmen at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson hosted a five-day training for Airmen from Travis Air Force Base, California, Nov. 18-22.

The purpose of the training was to gain qualification and certification on aircraft de-icing, de-ice vehicle operations and an opportunity to perform aircraft maintenance during cold weather conditions.

Fighter, carrier and refuel aircraft were used as part of the de-icing and anti-icing operations training with the 821st Contingency Response Group, which falls under the bi-coastal 621st Contingency Response Wing, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, Travis AFB, and the 3rd and 176th Wings from JB Elmendorf Richardson.

“The de-ice simulator training is an awesome capability the 732nd (Air Mobility Squadron) offers trainees,” said Master Sgt. Dave Pimentel, 821st Contingency Response Squadron maintenance flight chief assigned to Travis AFB. “It allows an individual who has never operated a de-ice basket to become quite familiar and proficient with the basket controls and overall de-icing operation without feeling the added pressure of maneuvering around an actual aircraft.”

He also mentioned how the virtual reality software enables trainees to have a lifelike immersive experience and how the simulator can be adjusted to fit any type of weather condition.

“The 821st CRS has a multi-faceted mission, and this training prepares them for contingencies in an arctic environment,” said Master Sgt. Gered Crawford, 732nd AMS lead production superintendent.

Pimentel emphasized the importance of contingency response aircraft maintainers needing to be ready to deploy and operate in any location and climate.

“The experiences, training and qualifications obtained here at JB (Elmendorf-Richardson) are vital to ensuring our aircraft maintainers are proficient in arctic environments,” Pimentel said.

The training not only helped Travis AFB Airmen expand their knowledge and maintain their readiness, but it also benefited JB Elmendorf-Richardson Airmen. The 732nd AMS benefited by liberating them from excess work, augmenting their maintainers and maximizing their time to work on additional aircraft if necessary.

“It also gave our men and women time for a tactical pause, which this time of year is as important as ever,” Crawford said.

None of the training and opportunities would be possible without the squadrons working in unison.

“This training has been extremely helpful in increasing our understanding of cold weather operations and environments, and we are grateful to all JB (Elmendorf-Richardson) units who hosted us,” said Master Sgt. Nathan Tawbush, 821st CRS command section executive assistant.

Pimentel also expressed his gratitude to the host installation and all involved squadrons, especially the 732nd AMS.

“The 732nd AMS went above and beyond and assisted with our travel arrangements, lodging and transportation requirements for this trip,” Pimentel said.