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.


 
 

 
(Courtesy Photo)

A Q&A with Master Sgt. Jaime Lewis

The men and women of the 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) welcomed a new First Sgt. in May. Master Sgt. Jaime M. Lewis, began his career in 2000 as an Aerial Porter, where he performed duties such as passenger services, car...
 
 

Payday lenders prey on Airmen

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Arizona — Loans can be very useful in life. From paying off bills to moving expenses, loans can help Airmen out when they need it. Sometimes Airmen are attracted to a less than ideal option of obtaining cash other than getting a traditional loan. What they may not realize is that going to...
 
 

Fit force ups fighting game

  LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, ARIZONA — Whether once or twice a year, all officers and enlisted Airmen must participate in the Air Force’s fitness assessment. The purpose of the Air Force Fitness Program is to emphasize total fitness of today’s Airmen. By participating in a year-round physical program that includes eating healthy, aerobic conditioning, strength and...
 

 
(U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)

Viper Demo Team pilot ‘Rockets’ to new heights

  SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. — An F-16CM Fighting Falcon shoots into the air, flying at a speed of 400 knots as it is pulled through various maneuvers to demonstrate its capabilities. Maneuvering the aircraft throug...
 
 

Enlisted promotion study reference material released

OINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas — The Profession of Arms Center of Excellence will release Air Force Handbook 1, Airman, Oct 2015 which replaces the Professional Development Guide, and will provide enlisted Airmen information needed for promotion testing. Individual study guides, developed from the information within the handbook, are available for immediate download via www.pdg.a...
 
 

AF revolutionizes study material delivery for FY16

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Airmen studying for career development and promotion opportunities will begin to receive study materials solely online by Oct. 1, 2017. Electronic delivery of Career Development Course volumes and Weighted Airman Promotion System study references have been in place for several years with a majority of the materials accessible on Air Education and Training Command...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>