JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. --
Airmen and a C-130J Super Hercules assigned to the 19th Airlift Wing served as the flying unit for the U.S. Army’s joint airborne air transportability training with the 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, Sept. 27, 2022.
The JA/ATT is designed to provide airborne training in a joint environment while teaching, implementing and developing tactics, knowledge and procedures to increase proficiency in airdrops, assault landings and mobility operations.
“Once the Army paratroopers jump off of our plane, it’s the end of our day,” said Capt. Riley Germanovich, 61st Airlift Squadron pilot. “For them, it’s the beginning of theirs. Once they land, the training they’re getting is insurmountable; they could be rucking, shooting, or doing whatever they need to do depending on the surrounding environment.”
Teamwork played a crucial role in order to execute the training; Germanovich continued. To ensure all procedures and requirements were met to successfully complete the personnel drop, communication was vital between the pilots, loadmasters, and the paratroopers.
Although the 19th AW has completed numerous JA/ATTs with the Army, lessons learned are a part of every training opportunity.
“One challenge we had to adapt to was working with different units,” said Germanovich. “The Army works much differently than the Air Force, and prior to every training we sit down with the jumpmasters, or whoever is leading the event, and talk through exactly what we need to do [to ensure we understand each other].”
Germanovich added that another challenge was learning the aircraft. With Team Little Rock’s C-130Js recently transitioning from Block 6.0 to the Block 8.1 upgrade, it drastically changed how the pilots communicated with the rest of the aircrew through the aircraft’s communication and navigation systems.
“JA/ATTs are like the bread and butter of the C-130J; we are made for tactical events,” said Germanovich. “If we are not tactically prepared, then we cannot execute and accomplish the mission. We fly low, we fly slow, and I don’t think any other plane can do it better than the C-130J.”
Accomplishing this type of training requires hard work and dedication from the entire team and Germanovich believes her team did just that.
“People say that we get to travel the world and get to do all these things but the important thing to remember is why you are doing it, who you are doing it with, and who you are doing it for,” said Germanovich. “So with that, I think that with the 61st AS and our C-130Js have done a great job integrating that passion and that movement moving forward.”