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Little Rock airlift squadron practices alternative combat offload techniques

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Regina Edwards
  • 19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. -- Loadmasters from the 41st Airlift Squadron traveled to a landing zone in Alexandria, Louisiana, to practice loading and offloading methods typically used in austere locations Aug. 26, 2016. 

The mission for the day was removing a 1,430-pound C-130 engine stand trailer unit using the Combat Offload Method B technique.

For this alternative offload method, eight barrels are lined up -- four on each side -- parallel to the back ramp of the C-130. The pallets securing the engine stand are chained to the tailgate of a truck, which will help pull the equipment off the C-130 as it slowly taxis forward. As the equipment is carefully removed, an Airman from each side slides a barrel underneath the corners of the pallet, creating a solid foundation for it to rest upon. The process continues until all barrels are placed and the equipment is completely removed from the aircraft.

This process must be synchronized, which demands constant communication from the loadmasters, driver and aircrew. While this method is performed, the aircraft’s engine remains running in order for the pilots to slowly taxi and release the equipment.

After the equipment transfer is complete, a final thumbs up from the loadmasters informs the aircrew that the equipment has been safely and successfully offloaded.

Training is essential to remaining ready to execute Rapid Global Mobility. Whether training at Little Rock Air Force Base or partnering with other units at different landing zones, being prepared for combat operations is the cornerstone of combat airlift.