FORT LEE, Va. –
Personnel from Joint Task Force Civil Support (JTF-CS) participated in an air craft load training evolution , Nov. 19 at Fort Lee, Va.
During the evolution, eight personnel drove four different types of vehicles including a box truck, a two pickup trucks with one trailer and a ten passenger van to the installation to practice loading them onto a mock C-17 aircraft.
According to JTF-CS Joint Movement Center Chief Tim Fahey, the unit conducts this type of training at least once a quarter for new members and personnel who need a refresher.
“The more people we have that are proficient at this, the faster we can meet our required timelines when we deploy,” said Fahey. “The Air Force usually plans for a 2.5 hour loading time, so we need to make sure we train our personnel to be able to meet that.”
As part of the training participants also learned how to set up a box truck air craft loading ramp, practiced ground guide hand signals and recognition, took turns backing each of the vehicles onto the aircraft, and installed tie down chains on each of the vehicles.
According to U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Edward Johnson, JTF-CS Surface Movement Center supervisor, when the unit deploys to a location outside of a 400 mile radius from its headquarters, flying the vehicles to the destination is the usual course of action, therefore knowing the loading process can pay dividends should the command be deployed.
“A lot of people saw this evolution for the first time today. We’ve always got new personnel coming in, so it’s good to do this periodically,” said Johnson, who served as one of the instructors for the load training. “This helps build confidence and a comfortability that our members can complete this task without our movement personnel there.”
U.S. Army Capt. Darren Hamby, a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear planner with JTF-CS’ J5 directorate, felt the hands-on aspect of added value to the overall training evolution.
“There are just some things you can’t get from a brief,” he said. “Each vehicle has its own nuances so it helps prepare you for that.”
When directed, JTF-CS is ready to respond in 24 hours to provide command and control of 5,200 federal military forces located at more than 36 locations throughout the nation in support of civil authority response operations to save lives, prevent further injury and provide critical support to enable community recovery.