Story and photos by Staff Sgt. Regina Edwards
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
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. 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 then helps 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 was 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.