Air Force

August 8, 2013

Critically Manned: Loadmaster, flexibility is key to success

Airman 1st Class Josh Slavin
355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
(U.S. Air Force photo by Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Josh Slavin)
Tech. Sgt. Joel Bonnet, 79th Rescue Squadron loadmaster, straps down cargo during the pre-flight operations here July 112. The 79th RQS is one of three rescue squadrons stationed on D-M.

Loadmasters play a critical role in the Air Force’s mission to transport supplies and military personnel to various points around the world. However, D-M’s loadmasters have a unique mission that requires their skill to perform rescue missions, as well as moving cargo and personnel.

A loadmaster’s job consists of an array of different tasks, from accomplishing loading and off-loading aircraft to computing weight and balance for cargo. They also play a role in the mission once the aircraft is airborne. They monitor cargo and passengers, provide assistance to passengers as required, and demonstrate the use of emergency equipment such as oxygen masks and life vests.

Master Sgt. Michael Boyles, 563rd Rescue Group loadmaster, believes the job is very tough and demanding but is extremely rewarding at the same time. “My favorite thing about being a loadmaster and working in the 563rd RQG is knowing that I was part of saving someone’s life,” Boyles said. “That is the most rewarding thing. These things we do, that others may live.”

The 79th Rescue Squadron here currently has approximately 30 loadmasters manning authorizations. Due to lack of manning in the career field however, they are only able to fill roughly half of the positions. This includes the 79th RQS Airmen that are currently deployed.

Boyles thinks flexibility is key and that it takes a special type of Airman to handle the job. “We undermanned because it is difficult to keep Airmen in the career field due to the unstable work schedule and constant traveling,” Boyles said. “It is tough on the guys with families, and some of them prefer a set schedule”.

Being part of the 563rd RQG presents D-M’s loadmasters with a unique mission. The 563rd RQG specializes in combat search and rescue missions. This puts a higher emphasis on transporting special forces troops and injured military personnel.

The primary duties for an HC-130J Combat King II loadmaster include assisting in the recovery of distressed or isolated personnel, use night vision goggles for tactical flight profiles to avoid detection and accomplish covert infiltration and exfiltration operations and to transload patients in and out of unimproved, low illuminated, short airfields.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
(U.S. Air Force Illustration by Airman 1st Class Cheyenne Morigeau)

Don’t become a target

Considering recent threats against Americans and the exponential growth of social media use, becoming a target of an adversary is easier than ever. Operations Security is a process that identifies unclassified, critical informa...
 
 
BreastCancerAwareness_pict

An Airman’s story: My mother didn’t fight alone

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. – His green eyes frantically searched the crowd for his dying mother. During his final pass and review at basic military training (BMT) he saw her in the stands, cheering him on. A year later, ...
 
 

Fire Prevention Week 2014

(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chris Drzazgowski) Sparky the Fire Dog, National Fire Protection Association spokesdog, and members from the 355th Fire Emergency Services flight taught children from the Child Development Center how to stop, drop and roll at Davis-Monthan, Oct. 8. The 355th FES conducted several events in conjunction with Fire...
 

 

Troops to Teachers helps Airmen serve after separation

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. – For many service members who are separating from the military, finding employment that utilizes prior training or skills gained while serving can be difficult. For Airmen who are honorably discharged from their military commitment and have an interest in ‘serving’ again as an educational instructor, the Troops to Teachers program is...
 
 

Military Tuition Assistance Program implements changes for FY15

HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. – Air Force active duty Airmen who want to take advantage of the military assistance programs for voluntary education in the coming academic year can expect several changes that were implemented on Oct. 1, 2014. The new Air Force Credentialing Opportunities Online, also referred to as AF COOL, will take the place...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin