HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --
Airmen from the Air Force Materiel Command’s 635th Materiel Maintenance Group joined forces with the 9th Airlift Squadron at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware and Air Education and Training Command’s 49th Wing for a Major Command Service Tail Trainer exercise, June 1-10, 2021, at Holloman AFB, New Mexico.
This MSTT simulated real-world scenarios to enhance and expedite training and readiness as well as build relationships across three major commands.
The 635th MMG, located at Holloman AFB, is the Air Force’s only organic Basic Expeditionary Airfield Resources unit. This group responds worldwide with deployment, setup, maintenance and teardown of resources in support of contingencies, humanitarian support and President of the United States requirements.
“When real world things happen, BEAR base gets tasked,” said Staff Sgt. Staff Sgt. Aviana Genovesi, 635th Materiel Supply Squadron noncommissioned officer in charge of BEAR cargo movement. “All of our Unit Type Code (UTC) [containers] have everything for us to build up a base if anything were to happen. This training is an opportunity to refresh our skills and practice outbound procedures.”
The 49th Wing is primarily a training wing for fighter pilots and Remotely Piloted Aircraft operators. One of their many mission partners at Holloman AFB is the 635th MMG team.
“The off-station trainer to Holloman AFB is a great example of a mutually beneficial effort '' said Lt. Col. Habbestad, 9th Airlift Squadron commander. “This mission allowed our Dover crew to challenge all three crew positions while stretching our legs out in the beautiful American West. “
During the 10-day MSTT, loadmasters and aerial port Airmen from the 49th Logistics Readiness Squadron loaded and unloaded 320,085 pounds of BEAR assets, including palletized cargo, aircraft ground equipment, a fuel truck and a K-loader.
“This training gave a few of the units here on Holloman, as well as the aircrew for this mission, a lot of good training with unique cargo,” said Staff Sgt. William Chroninger, 49th LRS air transportation function supervisor. “It also allowed us time to interface with the loadmasters, build rapport and gain a better understanding of what they would like to see when they have this type of training opportunity.”
Following an initiative from Air Mobility Command, MSTTs have been in the training plan of the 9th AS since earlier this year to expedite upgrade and qualification training for C-5M Super Galaxy loadmasters and flight engineers.
“The training we conducted helps build the confidence levels of our loadmasters, communication skills between one another and gives them a better understanding of what they are responsible for,” said Staff Sgt. Justin Thomas, 9th AS NCO in charge of loadmaster training.
Of the 350 tasks needed to be a fully qualified loadmaster, roughly half of the tasks can be completed during an MSTT, expediting upgrade training by up to 35 days.
“We don’t get a lot of training opportunities when we are under a time constraint, so it was nice to think through the process in real time and organize our thoughts a little bit more clearly,” said Staff Sgt. John Dittess, 9th AS loadmaster. “We worked together and communicated clearly during the training and that transitions into AMC mission success.”