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9th AS loadmasters train following AMC initiative

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Christopher Quail
  • 436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. – Loadmasters from the 9th Airlift Squadron collaborated with the 436th Logistics Readiness Squadron in a Major Command Service Tail Trainer exercise March 1–10, 2021, at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. 

MSTT is an initiative, driven by Air Mobility Command, to expedite upgrade training for C-5M Super Galaxy loadmasters enabling them to become fully-qualified to provide rapid global airlift. 

Student loadmasters were tasked with loading and unloading operations, including cargo restraint calculations, proper use of checklists and passenger relations.

“The training we conducted helps build the confidence levels of our loadmasters, [enhance] communication skills between one another and gives them a better understanding of what they are responsible for,” said Staff Sgt. Justin Thomas, 9th AS noncommissioned officer in charge of loadmaster training. “Learning the answers to the challenges we face, and then being able to apply those answers, is one of the goals we have set.”  

To date, 45 loadmasters have completed the 10-day training. Of the more than 350 tasks needed for full skill-level certification, roughly half are completed during MSTT, reducing training time more than 35 days.

Currently, the training consists of weighing the vehicles, then loading them onto the aircraft, ensuring proper weight distribution for flight. 

Thomas coordinated with the 436th LRS to provide various vehicles for the training. Different sizes of vehicles provide the training opportunity to configure  different sized cargo, maximizing the load and wood shoring, building support to load or unload cargo onto aircraft.

“It’s our responsibility in the training to link up with the aerial port here and get the measurements required for the vehicle to go onto the aircraft,” said 1st Lt. Mitchell Hughes, 436th LRS deployment distribution flight commander. “After the vehicles are weighed at the aerial port, we will drive to the flight line and wait for loadmasters to signal us to load the vehicles onto the aircraft.”

The 9th AS and 436th LRS have future plans to include having the vehicles take off with the aircraft to simulate timely movement, positioning and sustainment of military forces.

“Our ultimate goal is to get to the point where vehicles are being loaded onto the aircraft and taking off with the aircraft, making that full circle of being weighed, loaded and taking off,” said Hughes. 

MSTT initiative training has occurred three times at Dover AFB, beginning in January, and will continue throughout the remainder of the year. 

“So far we are three months into this training with many more months to go and everyone has had great hard-working attitudes helping our students get through this,” said Thomas. 

Thomas mentioned that he wanted 9th AS loadmasters to take the training and collaborate with other bases and our joint partners. 

“We are getting a lot more qualified loadmasters through at an expedited process,” said Thomas. “Having more qualified loadmasters will provide us the readiness that we need at 436th Airlift Wing to provide that rapid global airlift needed and allows us to potentially in the future spread that force development to other bases and joint partners.”