Loadmasters train to be first-choice warfighters
By Staff Sgt. Mathew Harris & Staff Sgt. Lealan Buehrer, 182nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
/ Published August 03, 2015
PEORIA, Ill. -- Loadmasters with the 182nd Airlift Wing conducted hands-on training with their C-130 Hercules aircraft at the Greater Peoria Air National Guard Base here during the unit training assembly Saturday and Sunday.
The loadmasters received both classroom instruction and ground training to continue being the first choice in homeland operations and the proven choice in the war fight.
Staff Sgt. Matthew Leitch, C-130 loadmaster with the 169th Airlift Squadron, says the hands-on training gives loadmasters a chance to train on several tasks at once.
"On this particular plane here, what we're doing is winching training - so practicing winching items in and out of the aircraft," Leitch said. "And we're also accomplishing our (chemical warfare protective) equipment at the same time."
One purpose of the annual refresher training was to ensure that the loadmasters are always on mission and ready for real-world scenarios.
Tech. Sgt. Lacey Dilbeck, also a 169th Airlift Squadron C-130 loadmaster, said the annual training is important because Airmen don't see many of these tasks during normal operations.
"They get to see winching again when they probably haven't done it in close to a year. Or they get to rig up for what we call mass CDS, which is a drop of multiple (container delivery system) bundles, so they can see that type of rigging that they wouldn't normally see throughout the year."
Dilbeck said the loadmasters also received training on heavy equipment drops, door bundle drops and several other career field tasks.