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Air Drops
107th Airlift Wing drops training cargo at Fort Drum, NY on Aug. 22, 2012. The 107th flies the C-130 aircraft which can air drop personnel and cargo to remote location. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Senior Master Sgt. Ray Lloyd)
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Air Crew Training

Posted 9/4/2012   Updated 9/4/2012 Email story   Print story


by Senior Master Sgt. Ray Lloyd
107th Airlift Wing

9/4/2012 - Niagara Falls Reserve Station -- The 107th Airlift Wing just completed week long aircrew training at the Niagara Falls Reserve Station and Fort Drum, N.Y. The training involved cargo loading, air drops, tactical low level flying and night vision training for the pilots.

"This training helps with our future deployments" said Lt. Col. John Patterson, C-130 Pilot, 107th Airlift Wing.

The 107th flies the C-130 aircraft which is used to airlift personnel and cargo to any location worldwide. The aircraft can also provide air drops in very remote spots, which require low level tactical flying.

"We scheduled a good week's worth of training for our guardsmen on cargo drops and recovery" said Master Sgt. Timothy Griffin 107th C-130 Loadmaster. "Aircrew, Tactics, Maintenance, and Scheduling remained flexible all week and coordinated multiple profile changes based on needs, sometimes as late as crew brief time." said Griffin.

When flying over the drop zone the navigator gives the green light for the loadmasters to cut the cargo strip and the training cargo flies out the back door of the C-130 aircraft. Fort Drum was used as the drop zone for this week's training. Aircrew would air drop during the day and recover at night. This involved performing a night tactical landing and with engine running, loadmasters and aerial port personnel, would rapidly load the cargo onto the aircraft.

There was a three ship formations scheduled the entire week during the day as well as multiple single ship aircraft during the evening and at night performing airdrops and recovery of the airdropped equipment and simulated mass supply loads. Without the losses due to maintenance cancelations and weather issues there was a total of 23 sorties scheduled to fly for the week.

On the return flight back to Niagara pilots train using their night vision goggles and perform another airdrop and tactical landings at the Niagara Falls Reserve Station.

This type of training prepares crews to fly in adverse environments when deployed overseas. This training was also a great benefit to Command Post, Aerial Port, Drop Zone personnel, Maintenance Comm/Nav, and MX ECM shops. Inherent in the process, the events laid the ground work for future utilization of Wheeler-Sack/Fort Drum airspace and property.

"In total this was a very detailed plan that had many key personnel assigned to it. Everyone was a valuable asset to making this week of training come together." said Master Sgt. Timothy Griffin 107th C-130 Loadmaster.

9/6/2012 10:42:31 PM ET
Holey COW Man i heard them C-130's flying low during your night missions here in east aurora. it was about 930 or 10pm on 9612 ..scared the bajesus out of me haha. we live here in a trailer court so our walls are pretty thin of course. i loved it though went right outside and was like wow amazing machinery. great job tho guys you guys are the pride of the National Guard. I hope you guys are around forever up at the 107th Niagara Falls base. I've heard of the budget deals with the gov and state recently and you deserve whatever is necessary. hope all is well -Matt
Matt, East Aurora NY
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