Friday, March 4, 2016

TOP STORY >> 50 AS commander’s immersion brief

BY Master Sgt. Jeff Walston
913th Airlift Group

Roughly 30 Airmen from the 19th and 913th Force Support Squadrons spent Friday morning immersed in a C-130 mission briefing event at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., hosted by Lt. Col. James O’Brien, commander of the 50th Airlift Squadron.

Briefers walked attendees through the standard profile of “plan the mission, brief the mission, fly the mission, and then debrief the mission.” The aircraft’s capabilities and the threats it faces during wartime missions were also emphasized.

“We are one team, one mission,” O’Brien told the group. “Force support is super important to the C-130 mission, and I want you to see how it happens, and how you fit in.”

The briefing began with a history lesson dating back to 1954, when the C-130 made its first flight. Another historical tidbit, unbeknownst to most in the room, is that the aircraft that flew the last C-130 mission out of Vietnam in 1975 sits outside the main gate of Little Rock AFB.

After the initial briefing, attendees received hands-on demonstrations of night vision goggles and other flight equipment, which included aircrew helmets, parachutes and chemical warfare equipment.

The force support Airmen also toured the air delivery shop, where airdrop pallets are prepared for training flights at Little Rock. Air delivery experts in the shop briefed the Airmen on wartime weapons drops and humanitarian missions flown by Little Rock Airmen.

The highlight of the event was a hands-on look at a C-130J on the ramp. Each Airman toured the aircraft and was given the opportunity to sit in the pilot seat and see the different screens and Head’s Up Display (HUD) of the aircraft.

“This was a great opportunity for our Airmen,” said Lt. Col. Rosalind Abdulkhalik, commander, 913 FSS. “They now have a better understanding of operational team work and how valuable they are in the total effort it takes to complete the mission.”

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