News | June 11, 2018

JTF-CS conducts air load training at Fort Lee

By Mass Communications Specialist 3rd Class Michael Redd, JTF-CS Public Affairs Joint Task Force Civil Support

Joint Task Force Civil Support (JTF-CS) members practiced loading and unloading command vehicles onto a modified Boeing C-17 Globemaster III during a two-day air load training exercise at Fort Lee, Va. in late May.

“This exercise is a great opportunity for JTF-CS members to learn what it’s like to drive vehicles on and off of a C-17,” says Army Col. Andrea McCollum, director of Logistics and Engineering. “If we get called to respond to a catastrophic event, this training helps ensure that we are ready and capable of deploying safely and efficiently.”

The exercise was led by the command’s Joint Movement Cell, a section within the Movement and Transportation Division. The purpose was to provide an opportunity to learn the correct procedures for loading vehicles onto a C-17 and securing them for air movement. This helped build driver confidence and overall teamwork.

McCollum, her Deputy Director Tim Collins, and the rest of the division have been planning this exercise for several months. The exercise is ideally held two to three times a year, says Collins.

“This exercise is usually held at the aircraft mock-up located on Fort Eustis,” says Collins. “However, Fort Lee has the ideal equipment needed for this exercise, as well as the space available to conduct it. The difference between the two facilities is the mock-up at Fort Lee is an actual C-17 fuselage with the chains and binders needed for tie-down training.  So, it is much more realistic and combines convoy training simulating movement to the aerial port of embarkation.  We aren’t sure whether this is a permanent change, but it will help command members feel confident when loading onto a C-17.”

JTF-CS must always be ready and capable to deploy at a moment’s notice to conduct its mission of saving lives, preventing further injury, and providing critical support to enable community recovery.