62 AW gets unique training opportunities during heritage flight weekend

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Mikayla Heineck
  • 62nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs

An all-black 62nd Airlift Wing aircrew from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, took the opportunity to conduct training across different components of aircrew and airdrop aviation Feb. 18-21.

The C-17 Globemaster III aircrew of four pilots, four loadmasters and three maintainers conducted the training on their way to and from a Black History Month Heritage event at Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina.

The pilots and loadmasters from the 4th and 8th Airlift Squadrons and the 62nd Operations Support Squadron practiced aerial refueling, low-level flying and air drop, and aggressive landings.

Most C-17 low-level flight training conducted by McChord pilots occur over rural areas in central Washington, but the aircrew practiced a route over an area in New Mexico.

“There’s always an added training value when you’re doing a low-level in an area you’re unfamiliar with,” said Capt. Wesley Cobb, 4th Airlift Squadron pilot. “In a combat situation, if we were doing a low-level ingress into the area, we wouldn’t be familiar with it so it was a great exercise in realistic crew resource management.”

During the low-level exercise, the loadmasters had the opportunity to simulate airdrop by opening the back of the C-17 Globemaster III during flight.

Also aboard the aircraft were three maintainers from the 62nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron who trained the rest of the aircrew on how to troubleshoot the aircraft without maintenance personnel.

“We brought along some maintainers to help the rest of the air crew become more proficient and highlight some things that we get to see all the time, but that they might not have ever seen,” said 2nd Lt. Dyami Bryant, 62nd Aircraft Maintenance squadron assistant aircraft maintenance unit officer in charge. “You can’t get a jet off the ground without maintainers making sure that happens, but we don’t often get to see the aircraft from takeoff to landing, so it was nice to be able to see the effect of the work that we do.”

Staff Sgt. Dedric Jones, 62d AMXS crew chief, opened up the T-tail of the C-17 and showed the loadmasters its mechanics.

“Going up into the T-tail and checking that visually is something we don’t necessarily do a lot,” Cobb said. “But in the off chance that we do have to, it’s important to be familiarized with that area of the C-17.”

Keeping up with training is an important part of the Air Force mission and ensures the wing remains a global airlift power.