62d AW, Little Rock AFB, Royal New Zealand Air Force train on Combat Offload Method B

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Megan Geiger
  • 62d Airlift Wing Public Affairs

U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 62d Airlift Wing conduct Combat Offload Method B training with C-130J Super Hercules crews from the 41st Airlift Squadron, Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, Jan. 11, 2024.

Members of the Royal New Zealand Air Force were present during the training to observe and learn more about U.S. methods. The training exercise simulated a combat offload event ensuring readiness in executing today’s global airlift mission and providing mission-ready crew and aircraft.

“We’re working with aerial port folks we don’t normally work with,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Matt Heinrich, a 41st AS pilot. “That’s a huge benefit for us to be able to do that outside of our usual local training area.”

There are three different offload methods and for this iteration, they’re focusing on Combat Offload Method B. This type of offload takes place when traditional offloading equipment are not available due to the nature of the mission or terrain. It is chosen when the two- or four-person crew cannot stay on the ground, or when landing in remote locations.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Trenton Dancer, a 62d Aerial Port Squadron capability forecaster, developed the training program and guide ensuring air-and-ground crew are trained for operating a pallet offload in such conditions, and to be able to successfully, efficiently and safely execute the mission in a deployed environment.

“[This training] creates problem solvers,” said Dancer. “Having fully capable Airmen before we have multi-capable Airmen is important. They have to be able to solve these problems when they’re in austere locations and have an inbound aircraft.”

This is the third round of Combat Method B training in recent months. Dancer’s goal means having an aircraft with aircrew come out to JBLM every other month.

He said one challenge the crews face is avoiding damage to the aircraft during the training exercise, especially when the aircraft belongs to another branch or unit. He said training people to be knowledgeable in this multi-unit environment is important. It’s also vital allowing the team to learn how to solve those problems through the process.

Dancer stated, now that Combat Offload Method B is a training requirement across the Department of Defense, it will be easier to find a team among each branch to come out for training.

“To be able to do this with all these other crews has been awesome,” Dancer said. “They’ve been fantastic to work with, and it’s really good for them too, now that it’s a requirement again.”

Dancer hopes his updated Combat Offload Method B training program will be approved through Air Mobility Command in order to improve interoperability between units as well as joint and combined partners in the future.