Marines attached to the Arrival/Departure Airfield Control Group (ADACG) and Airmen from the 452nd Aerial Port Support Flight (APSF), joined up to provide aerial port operations training to logisticians assigned to the First Marine Expeditionary Force (1 MEF), at March Air Reserve Base, Feb 27.
More than 110 Marines were broken up into groups and moved through four stations which took them through each of the steps vital to ensuring that an aircraft is properly loaded prior to take off.
The training was an opportunity to help the Marine’s refresh the training they previously received through Marine occupational specialty schools, using equipment they are familiar with in a training environment, an environment which is not always available to them.
“It is very rare for the Marines to have this opportunity in a training atmosphere,” said Gunnery Sgt. Christopher Oliver of 1 MEF Air Liaison Element. “Most of the time they are learning hands-on in a real world scenario. This provides them the time to improve their skills and knowledge of the aircraft and load plans.”
From learning the correct way to build a pallet, to properly center balancing a vehicle, to loading a C-17, the training helped the Marines go through each process slowly and accurately which will help improve the overall flow of the mission.
“They are learning how to use their ‘Tetris’ skills to build the pallet symmetrically and restrain it properly prior to loading it on the aircraft,” said Staff Sgt. Ernesto Jimenez, 452 APSF Joint inspector. “That way, when the load arrives here, there will be no delays.”
The joint training also afforded the trainees an opportunity to learn how the Air Force side of the house conducts business, something Jimenez believes is important to the overall mission.
“It helps everyone to be on the same page,” he said. “This training allows us to be able to communicate what we expect and they can communicate what they expect as well, which alleviates any issues which could delay the aircraft.”
This type of training between the Air Force and Marines is something service members from both sides believe enhances the ability to work well together and is beneficial to all involved.
“It was great training for me, I was looking forward to it,” said Lance Cpl. George Seaman. “I now know I have the knowledge needed to properly do the job.”
The ability for both parties to process cargo properly the first time around is something Chief Master Sgt. James Zubor, 452 APSF superintendent, believes makes everything about the job flow smoother for all those involved. “It makes our job easier and makes their job easier,” Zubor said. “This is a joint effort, a team effort, every bit of this process.”