Training like we fight


Reservists from the 315th Airlift Wing conducted a multifaceted training mission by way of a C-17 Globemaster III from Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina to Ramstein Air Base, Germany this weekend.

The mission focused on several objectives, which maintained the pilot’s qualifications in flying, the loadmaster’s proficiency in job tasks and the aeromedical evacuation members’ operational readiness during an international flight.

“They did well,” said Maj. Michael Chrapkiewicz, the aircraft commander and pilot with the 300th Airlift Squadron at JB Charleston. “Flying an oceanic crossing is good for us and it’s good for the younger pilots to get to experience. This mission puts all of the units ahead of the game because they experience real-world training.”

Pilots of the aircraft conducted currency training while completing an overseas sortie along with safely transporting Airmen to and from deployed positions.

“This flight was pretty standard,” said Capt. Brandon Reynolds, a 300th AS pilot. “I was able to get my monthly requirement of one landing, one instrument approach and one takeoff. It’s great to fly with my squadron because I get to complete the mission with friends while still serving my country.”

“Flying into Europe can be tricky,” said Chrapkiewicz. “Their airspace is a lot more complicated. Because of the smaller countries that are all around, you could easily cross into someone else’s airspace. The pilots also have to deal with a language barrier sometimes.”

Two loadmasters were evaluated through “check-rides” while on this mission, which measures the Airmen’s abilities to perform their jobs. They were also responsible for more than 50 passengers and crewmembers that filled the plane as well as their cargo and equipment.

“I was here to assist the aeromedical squadron with any of their needs and assist with the passengers,” said Senior Airman Patrick Hooton, a 300th AS loadmaster. “I also was being evaluated on my mission readiness, safety and efficiency in how I follow procedures. I was quizzed on the aircraft’s limitations, systems and overall job functions during the flight.”

Chief Master Sgt. Reggie Godbolt, the 300th AS’s loadmaster superintendent, was the evaluator for the loadmasters on the mission.

“During this off-station training, the two loadmasters on the flight were evaluated on their performance and their capabilities during the mission,” said Godbolt. “They did well overall. They had to deal with several different units, maintenance issues as well as changes to the schedule. The crew did great with completing their tasks safely and getting the job done.”

Members of the 315th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron at JB Charleston, along with two members from the 43rd AES at Pope Air Force Base, also conducted numerous training scenarios during the flight.

“Missions like this one are better because it allows us the time that we need to handle multiple scenarios during the flight, while being hands on with the equipment,” said Staff Sgt. Josias Senties, 43rd AES medical technician. “Working with the Reserve is very realistic to operational missions and they are much better at their job because they get to do this on a regular basis in their civilian jobs. We definitely learn from each other.”

“The crew had to complete several real-world scenarios,” said Master Sgt. Mary Troja, 315th AES mission clinical coordinator. “They had to transport patients to and from the aircraft, identify what was wrong with them during several medical scenarios, follow protocol and procedures and then apply the appropriate actions. They did well and the communication was really good.”

During the last leg of the mission, over 30 aerial port members from the 70th Aerial Port Squadron in Homestead AFB, Florida were transported back from Ramstein AB to their home station.

During the mission to Ramstein AB, a single C-17 aircraft was used to refine, sustain and verify the protocols and readiness for multiple units. This flight was a small piece of the operational Air Force, which highlighted the diversity and complexity of its worldwide capabilities and reach.

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