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41st AS practices alternative combat offload techniques

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Mario Linton, 41st Airlift Squadron loadmaster, ties down the chock as the sun rises before takeoff Aug. 26, 2016, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. The 41st AS trained on different offload techniques and practiced the Combat Offload Method B technique. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Regina Edwards)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Mario Linton, 41st Airlift Squadron loadmaster, ties down the chock as the sun rises before takeoff Aug. 26, 2016, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. The 41st AS trained on different offload techniques and practiced the Combat Offload Method B technique. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Regina Edwards)

U.S. Air Force C-130J loadmasters from the 61st Airlift Squadron prepare to perform a Combat Offload Method B technique Dec 7, 2016, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. The technique is often used by C-130 aircrews in austere locations to quickly offload supplies. (U.S Air Force photo by Senior Airman Harry Brexel)

U.S. Air Force C-130J loadmasters from the 61st Airlift Squadron prepare to perform a Combat Offload Method B technique Dec 7, 2016, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. The technique is often used by C-130 aircrews in austere locations to quickly offload supplies. (U.S Air Force photo by Senior Airman Harry Brexel)

Loadmasters from the 41st Airlift Squadron from Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., assist Airmen from the 305th Aerial Port Squadron at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, loading a C-130 engine stand trailer unit Aug. 26, 2016, at a landing zone in Alexandria, Louisiana. The 1,430-lb. trailer is used to safely transport an aircraft’s engine from the runway to a maintenance bay to allow more precise repairs. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Regina Edwards)

Loadmasters from the 41st Airlift Squadron from Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., assist Airmen from the 305th Aerial Port Squadron at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, loading a C-130 engine stand trailer unit Aug. 26, 2016, at a landing zone in Alexandria, Louisiana. The 1,430-lb. trailer is used to safely transport an aircraft’s engine from the runway to a maintenance bay to allow more precise repairs. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Regina Edwards)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Casey Strauss, 61st Airlift Squadron C-130J loadmaster, simulates a Method A Combat Offload of a fuel filter separator during a deployment training exercise Dec 7, 2016 at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. Method A Combat Offloads are often utilized in locations where there are no vehicles or equipment to assist in offloading supplies. (U.S Air Force photo by Senior Airman Harry Brexel)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Casey Strauss, 61st Airlift Squadron C-130J loadmaster, simulates a Method A Combat Offload of a fuel filter separator during a deployment training exercise Dec 7, 2016 at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. Method A Combat Offloads are often utilized in locations where there are no vehicles or equipment to assist in offloading supplies. (U.S Air Force photo by Senior Airman Harry Brexel)

Airmen from the 305th Aerial Port Squadron at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, uses combat offload method B to remove a C-130 engine stand trailer unit Aug. 26, 2016, at a landing zone in Alexandria, Louisiana. The combat offload method B uses barrels as a foundation for the pallets to hold the trailer as the C-130 slowly moves forward to release the equipment. (U.S. Air force photo by Staff Sgt. Regina Edwards)

Airmen from the 305th Aerial Port Squadron at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, uses combat offload method B to remove a C-130 engine stand trailer unit Aug. 26, 2016, at a landing zone in Alexandria, Louisiana. The combat offload method B uses barrels as a foundation for the pallets to hold the trailer as the C-130 slowly moves forward to release the equipment. (U.S. Air force photo by Staff Sgt. Regina Edwards)

Airmen from the 305th Aerial Port Squadron at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, load barrels under a trailer carrying a 1,430-lb. C-130 engine stand trailer unit Aug. 26, 2016, at a landing zone in Alexandria, Louisiana. The barrels are used to support the pallet as the C-130 slowly pulls forward to release the equipment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Regina Edwards)

Airmen from the 305th Aerial Port Squadron at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, load barrels under a trailer carrying a 1,430-lb. C-130 engine stand trailer unit Aug. 26, 2016, at a landing zone in Alexandria, Louisiana. The barrels are used to support the pallet as the C-130 slowly pulls forward to release the equipment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Regina Edwards)

Airmen from the 305th Aerial Port Squadron at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, gives a thumbs up to communicate to 41st Airlift Squadron loadmasters from Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., that the combat offload method B is complete Aug. 26, 2016, at a landing zone in Alexandria, Louisiana. This method is practiced and perfected so Airmen are equipped with the necessary skills needed for deployment operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Regina Edwards)

Airmen from the 305th Aerial Port Squadron at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, gives a thumbs up to communicate to 41st Airlift Squadron loadmasters from Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., that the combat offload method B is complete Aug. 26, 2016, at a landing zone in Alexandria, Louisiana. This method is practiced and perfected so Airmen are equipped with the necessary skills needed for deployment operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Regina Edwards)

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-lb. C-130 engine stand trailer unit using the Combat Offload Method B technique.

 

“This method is used primarily for bases that may not have the capabilities or equipment to offload using method A,” said U.S. Air Force Tech Sgt. Richard Mulhollen, 34th Combat Training Squadron loadmaster. “Method A is when the pallets that are carrying the equipment are unlocked and the plane drives forward, ultimately dragging the equipment off the aircraft from underneath. (Method B) is a more gentle way to handle the equipment.”

Mulhollen said the goal is to have deployment crews’ first exposure to this method be in a safe and controlled environment. Doing this training stateside decreases chances for mission failure abroad.

Combat Offload Method B allows almost any item not exceeding 1500 lbs. to be transferred meticulously to its receiver.

For Airmen who are at the receiving end of any piece of equipment, choosing an offload method is preferred when survivability and high risk of damage is in question.

“When there is a risk of breaking equipment in the air or if weather hinders an airdrop transfer, combat offloads are the way to go,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jonh Gordon, 34th CTS mission support supervisor.                                                                           

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 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 up. The process continues until all barrels are all 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 inform the aircrew that the equipment that been safely and successfully removed.

Training is essential to remain ready to complete 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.