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 Photo by Airman 1st Class Chris Drzazgowski)

Grappling, pummeling, trapping: 162nd Airmen learn to ‘close with the enemy’

MARANA, Ariz. – The words on the gym wall summed it up best for 13 security forces specialists who trained at the Western Army National Guard Aviation Training Site here March 17-21. “The defining characteristic of a ...
 
 

Air Force launches new program to capture innovative ideas

WASHINGTON (AFNS) – Air Force officials announced the creation of a new program April 4, designed to harness Airmen’s innovation. Airmen Powered by Innovation, or API, will replace three existing Air Force “good idea” programs – the Innovative Development through Employee Awareness, Productivity Enhancing Capital Investment, and Best Practices programs – and expand the role o...
 
 

AF opens additional TERA, VSP windows

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) – The Air Force will open two new fiscal year 2014 force management temporary early retirement authority application windows, and a new voluntary separation pay application window, Air Force Personnel Center officials said April 14. Commonly referred to as the 15-year retirement, TERA eligibility will be based on the updated...
 

 

The emotionless leader: Trusted and respected by Airmen

LAJES FIELD, Azores (AFNS) – “I don’t want to hurt her career.” “He’s the best NCO I’ve got. I don’t want to see him lose a stripe.” How many times have you heard someone in a leadership position make statements such as these when contemplating disciplinary actions when an Airman or NCO makes a terrible decision?...
 
 

AF updates officer, enlisted voluntary force management eligibility lists

Select Airmen in specific categories who were not formerly eligible for fiscal year 2014 force management voluntary separation are now being offered voluntary separation. These individuals will not be subject to involuntary programs in fiscal 2014. Officers from 33 Air Force specialty codes by year group and enlisted Airmen from seven AFSCs by grade are...
 
 
USAFBlue

USAFA Wings of Blue

Each year, the Wings of Blue Demonstration Team performs at more than 50 special events in front of over 2 million spectators. Demonstration venues include airshows, NFL and College football games, and special events across the...
 




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