FORT IRWIN, Calif. — After a long interval in training, Airborne Operations resumed at the National Training Center. The Tarantula and Spartan teams, along with Paratroopers from the 358th Civil Affairs Brigade and the 346th Theater Aerial Delivery Company, conducted airborne operations spanning a total of six days.
The first three days were dedicated to Jumpmaster (JMR) and Basic Airborne Refreshers (BAR). The Tarantula and Spartan team conducted the JMR for 11 Jumpmasters from three different units across southern California to receive airborne currency. The third day of training was dedicated to BAR for 47 total Paratroopers.
Over the course of two days in June, Operations Group along with Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 352 VMGR-352 (Raider) of Marine Corps Airbase Miramar California and A/2916 Aviation Battalion (Desert Hawk) of Fort Irwin Calif. executed successful airborne operations over Greer DZ. On June 24, Operations Group and Raider executed an airborne assault exiting 32 Paratroopers, and on June 25, Operations Group and Desert Hawk executed a rotary wing Airborne Operation exiting 25 Paratroopers.
On July 14, the NTC’s Operations Group, along with the 446th Air Wing from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., attempted an airborne operation over Greer DZ. Due to winds, the operation was scratched, however, Air Force crews were able to train on Semi Prepared Runway Operations (SPRO) and Engine Running On Load (ERO) and unload of cargo and personnel. The three months of coordination between Tarantula and 446th Air Wing planners allowed for a 2x C-17 ship concept. This was the biggest package of fixed wing support conducted on a single airborne operation with the Tarantula team in Six Years.
Rigger support was provided by the 36th QM DET TX and medical support from the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment. As always, no Airborne Operation could continue without the superb Ground and Air Support from NT’s Range Control and Desert G-3 Air at Bicycle Lake Army Airfield.
The next NTC Airborne Operation will be on Sept. 1 and will be supported by a C-130 from the 910th Air Wing of Youngstown Air Station Ohio.