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NEWS | June 17, 2016

437th Aerial Port Squadron hosts NCHB13's Exercise Golden Steamboat

By Senior Airman Clayton Cupit Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

Reserve Sailors from Navy Cargo Handling Battalion THIRTEEN conducted battalion-wide training throughout June 2016, with the assistance of the 437th Aerial Port Squadron from Joint Base Charleston - Air Base, S.C.

Exercise Golden Steamboat is an expeditionary logistics training exercise intended to significantly increase unit readiness and individual qualifications in preparation for the battalion's Unit Level Training Readiness Assessment 2017, the unit's large-scale exercise.

The battalion's air cargo training portion of the exercise--which also included reserve Sailors from Navy Cargo Handling Battalion ELEVEN--was held at JB Charleston.
"I think it's awesome that we're getting hands-on training," said Aviation Boatswain Handler 2nd Class Seth Townsend, NCHB13. "There's a lot to learn and doing it first-hand improves our learning experience."

"We usually do a lot of classroom training back home," said Townsend. "Very rarely do we get to do hands-on training, so this is why this exercise is a huge opportunity for us and we try to soak in as much experience as we can."

"We have also been getting certifications and licensing through the 437th APS by having Air Force forms sent through our commands," added Yeoman 3rd Class Petty Officer Qasim Fareed, NCHB 13.

The company commander expressed his opinion on the training opportunity as well.

"Our company is based out of Atlanta, Ga.," said Navy LT. Jared Moon, NCHB13 Air Cargo Company commander. "And right now we don't have any opportunity for hands-on training so we have to get by with PowerPoints or classes. That can only do so much for learning."

"The 437th APS has been extremely wonderful to us," said Moon. "They've allowed us to work with their cargo operations, pallet building, ramp operations, load planning, you name it."

Members taking part in the exercise were able to practice their skills on the equipment and machinery from the 437th APS.

"It has felt extremely engaging working with the Air Force," said Fareed. "I've never driven a 40k Cargo Loader vehicle before but with the training I received, I now feel very confident in my ability to perform these new roles."

The training the Sailors received through exercise Golden Steamboat prepared them for future Navy large-scale exercises and operations.

"This training is extremely important to us," said Moon. "It prepares us for the Unit Level Training Readiness Assessment in August. That assessment will determine whether we are mobilization ready or not."

Finally, Moon expressed his thanks to the Air Force and discussed his opinion of the future for joint forces.

"The only thing different about us are the colors of our uniforms," said Moon. "Down range, we are going to be joint. Whether through augmentations or support, we will work together and that is the future."

"They [437th APS] have welcomed us with open arms," said Moon. "Whatever we asked for, they provided us. It's been a great relationship and I hope we can continue this throughout the years."

While the Air Cargo Company was training at JB Charleston, the Fuels Company was refueling a C-17 from Charleston at the Air National Guard base in Gulfport, Miss.  The other areas of training besides JB Charleston and Gulfport were New Orleans (two US Naval cargo ships) and Fort Lee, VA (field training for the Fuels Company).

Navy Cargo Handling Battalion THIRTEEN is a deployable reserve unit of the 4th Navy Expeditionary Logistics Regiment supporting Navy Expeditionary Logistics Support Group, a component of Navy Expeditionary Combat Command, which delivers expeditionary logistics capabilities with mobilization-ready Navy Reserve forces and active-duty Sailors. They provide a wide range of supply and transportation functions critical for peacekeeping, crisis response, humanitarian assistance and combat service support missions.