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NEWS | Nov. 30, 2021

U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marines Conduct Joint Training

By Staff Sgt. Ashley Mikaio Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

U.S. Airmen and U.S. Marines came together for an integrated training mission, affording service members a unique hands-on training opportunity.

Pilots and loadmasters from the 16th Airlift Squadron and Marines assigned to the Combat Logistics Company 21 flew a local training mission at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, Oct. 26, 2021.

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Patrick DeGraaf, 16th AS assistant director of operations, coordinated the integrated training. He said the training offers members valuable and holistic training in the local area that mimics operational procedures.

During the mission, loadmasters worked alongside Marines inspecting and loading cargo and passengers onto a C-17 Globemaster III. The loadmasters were also able to do a local check ride, evaluating standards and checking proficiency. The training allowed both services to slow down and understand why procedures are conducted, ensuring a smooth transition to real-world operations.

While the loadmasters worked at the back of the C-17, pilots trained in weight and balance checking and planning for on-loading and off-loading in unfamiliar fields.
DeGraaf said the training was excellent for both junior pilots to gain experience before going operational and he hopes to make these types of training missions a regular occurrence. “Each service is unique in how they operate,” DeGraaf said. “Their regulations and terminology are different. These training missions allow for other branches to see how their sister services do business. The Logistics Marines were exposed to the expectation of executing a smooth C-17 mission.”

DeGraaf hopes that continuing local training missions ensures that a difference in service operations won’t interfere with real-world success.