HomeNewsArticle Display

Innovation: Airmen of the 143d Airlift Wing secure C-130 wing for training purposes

Airmen from the 143d Airlift Wing's Maintenance Group, Operations Group and Logistics Readiness Squadron work together to plan and complete the offload of a detached C-130 wing from the back of a C-130J using the Combat Offload Method B technique. The wing was secured to be used for training by Fuel Cell Airmen, Safety, and Fire personnel.

Airmen from the 143d Airlift Wing's Maintenance Group, Operations Group and Logistics Readiness Squadron work together to plan and complete the offload of a detached C-130 wing from the back of a C-130J using the Combat Offload Method B technique. The wing was secured to be used for training by Fuel Cell Airmen, Safety, and Fire personnel.

Airmen from the 143d Airlift Wing's Maintenance Group, Operations Group and Logistics Readiness Squadron work together to plan and complete the offload of a detached C-130 wing from the back of a C-130J using the Combat Offload Method B technique. The wing was secured to be used for training by Fuel Cell Airmen, Safety, and Fire personnel.

Airmen from the 143d Airlift Wing's Maintenance Group, Operations Group and Logistics Readiness Squadron work together to plan and complete the offload of a detached C-130 wing from the back of a C-130J using the Combat Offload Method B technique. The wing was secured to be used for training by Fuel Cell Airmen, Safety, and Fire personnel.

Airmen from the 143d Airlift Wing's Maintenance Group, Operations Group and Logistics Readiness Squadron work together to plan and complete the offload of a detached C-130 wing from the back of a C-130J using the Combat Offload Method B technique. The wing was secured to be used for training by Fuel Cell Airmen, Safety, and Fire personnel.

Airmen from the 143d Airlift Wing's Maintenance Group, Operations Group and Logistics Readiness Squadron work together to plan and complete the offload of a detached C-130 wing from the back of a C-130J using the Combat Offload Method B technique. The wing was secured to be used for training by Fuel Cell Airmen, Safety, and Fire personnel.

Airmen from the 143d Airlift Wing's Maintenance Group, Operations Group and Logistics Readiness Squadron work together to plan and complete the offload of a detached C-130 wing from the back of a C-130J using the Combat Offload Method B technique. The wing was secured to be used for training by Fuel Cell Airmen, Safety, and Fire personnel.

Airmen from the 143d Airlift Wing's Maintenance Group, Operations Group and Logistics Readiness Squadron work together to plan and complete the offload of a detached C-130 wing from the back of a C-130J using the Combat Offload Method B technique. The wing was secured to be used for training by Fuel Cell Airmen, Safety, and Fire personnel.

Airmen from the 143d Airlift Wing's Maintenance Group, Operations Group and Logistics Readiness Squadron work together to plan and complete the offload of a detached C-130 wing from the back of a C-130J using the Combat Offload Method B technique. The wing was secured to be used for training by Fuel Cell Airmen, Safety, and Fire personnel.

Airmen from the 143d Airlift Wing's Maintenance Group, Operations Group and Logistics Readiness Squadron work together to plan and complete the offload of a detached C-130 wing from the back of a C-130J using the Combat Offload Method B technique. The wing was secured to be used for training by Fuel Cell Airmen, Safety, and Fire personnel.

Airmen from the 143d Airlift Wing's Maintenance Group, Operations Group and Logistics Readiness Squadron work together to plan and complete the offload of a detached C-130 wing from the back of a C-130J using the Combat Offload Method B technique. The wing was secured to be used for training by Fuel Cell Airmen, Safety, and Fire personnel.

Airmen from the 143d Airlift Wing's Maintenance Group, Operations Group and Logistics Readiness Squadron work together to plan and complete the offload of a detached C-130 wing from the back of a C-130J using the Combat Offload Method B technique. The wing was secured to be used for training by Fuel Cell Airmen, Safety, and Fire personnel.

Airmen from the 143d Airlift Wing's Maintenance Group, Operations Group and Logistics Readiness Squadron work together to plan and complete the offload of a detached C-130 wing from the back of a C-130J using the Combat Offload Method B technique. The wing was secured to be used for training by Fuel Cell Airmen, Safety, and Fire personnel.

Airmen from the 143d Airlift Wing's Maintenance Group, Operations Group and Logistics Readiness Squadron work together to plan and complete the offload of a detached C-130 wing from the back of a C-130J using the Combat Offload Method B technique. The wing was secured to be used for training by Fuel Cell Airmen, Safety, and Fire personnel.

Supervisors and trainers in the Air National Guard are often faced with a challenge when trying to ensure their Airmen are receiving the right training at the right time. Our time with our Airmen is limited and the inaccessibility of equipment to conduct training can make the task even more difficult. 

 

Airmen from the Fuel Cell in the 143d Maintenance Group understand this challenge all too well. Their upgrade and sustainment training requires these Airmen to operate inside the fuel cells of the C-130J wing to become qualified. However, due to mission requirements for the C-130J aircraft assigned to the 143d Airlift Wing, it became increasingly difficult to pull a plane from the daily flight schedule to accomplish this training. Senior Master Sgt. Richard Tuttle of the 143d Maintenance Squadron saw the issue and decided to do something about it.

More than eight years ago, Sgt. Tuttle began his search for a detached C-130 wing to use specifically for training. After several close calls over the years, he was finally able to obtain one this year from the Air Logistics Complex at Warner Robbins Air Force Base, Georgia. Coordination began immediately for transportation back to Quonset Air National Guard Base.

Members from Maintenance, Operations, and Air Terminal came together to figure out how to properly fit this large wing in the back of one of our aircraft, load it at Warner Robbins and offload it at Quonset. The wing was cut down to remove the leading edge and other outer portions and tubing unnecessary for the training purposes in order to properly fit into the cargo compartment. Members of the Air Terminal prepared the six pallet loading configuration in minimal time allowing the wing to be lifted via crane onto the pallets, secured, and loaded using a 60K “Tunner” K Loader onto the airplane. But, the coordination had only just begun.

The use of the 60K K Loader, typically used to load larger planes such as C-5 Galaxies and C-17 Globemasters, was available at Warner Robbins but the 143d Airlift Wing does not have one, nor access to one. The only way to offload the large wing was to use the Combat Offload Method B technique. This technique has not been used at the 143d in as long as most can remember and requires a lot of coordination and teamwork. 

For this offload method, Airmen from Air Terminal and Operations lined up barrels and dunnage in back of the C-130. The pallets securing the wing were chained to a forklift which would help pull the equipment off the C-130 as it slowly taxied forward. As the wing was carefully removed, the Air Terminal personnel and Loadmasters from each side slid a barrel underneath the pallets and topped them with dunnage, creating a solid foundation for it to rest upon. This process continued until all six pallets were completely removed from the aircraft.

This process must be perfectly synchronized. Constant communication from the loadmasters on and off the airplane and the pilots was essential. This method was performed, with the engines running in order for the pilots to slowly taxi to release the equipment.

Once the equipment transfer was complete, the Maintenance team went to work to transfer the wing from the pallets, to a flatbed truck and to its temporary location to prepare it to be used for training. The Airmen from the Maintenance Group used methods learned during Crash Damaged or Disabled Aircraft Recovery (CDDAR) training to safely lift the wing off of the pallets, onto the truck, and then off of the truck again.

According to Senior Master Sgt. Tuttle this wing will, “significantly reduce training time for Fuel Cell Airmen,” possibly reducing the upgrade training time from five years to one year. He also mentioned that the procurement of this wing was the effort of many and could not have been done without the Airmen from the Maintenance Group, Airlift Squadron, Air Terminal and Supply working together as a cohesive team.

USAF Comments Policy
If you wish to comment, use the text box below. AF reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

This is a moderated forum. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain abusive or vulgar language, spam, hate speech, personal attacks, violate EEO policy, are offensive to other or similar content. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly "off topic", promote services or products, infringe copyright protected material, or contain any links that don't contribute to the discussion. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted. The AF and the AF alone will make a determination as to which comments will be posted. Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other non-governmental organizations or individuals that remain on the site are provided solely for the information of individuals using this page. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of the AF, DoD, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying AF endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

Any comments that report criminal activity including: suicidal behaviour or sexual assault will be reported to appropriate authorities including OSI. This forum is not:

  • This forum is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact OSI or your local police agency.
  • Do not submit unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries to this forum. This site is not to be used for contracting or commercial business.
  • This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

AF does not guarantee or warrant that any information posted by individuals on this forum is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. AF may not be able to verify, does not warrant or guarantee, and assumes no liability for anything posted on this website by any other person. AF does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those websites that may be reached through links on our website.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to the public affairs through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Reporter questions will not be posted. We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day.

For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain "on-topic." This means that comments will be posted only as it relates to the topic that is being discussed within the blog post. The views expressed on the site by non-federal commentators do not necessarily reflect the official views of the AF or the Federal Government.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, DoD ID number, OSI Case number, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, that comment may or may not be posted on the page. If your comment is posted, your name will not be redacted or removed. In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, DoD ID numbers, OSI case numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. The default for the posting of comments is "anonymous", but if you opt not to, any information, including your login name, may be displayed on our site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.