Reserve crews traversed Texas landscape for deployment training

  • Published
  • By Maj. Ashley Walker
  • 913th Airlift Group

The 327th Airlift Squadron used the diverse and large Texas landscape to conduct deployment training among various dirt landing zones, training drop zones, as well as regional and military runways, Feb. 8-12, 2021.

To further enhance training, the unit partnered with the Marine Corps 6th Motor Transport Battalion, Lubbock, Texas, and conducted integrated flying with the active duty Air Force 317th Airlift Wing, Dyess AFB, Texas. Aircrews transported oversized cargo such as an R-11 Aircraft Refueler truck and M119 howitzer artillery equipment, accomplished tactical landing on austere runways, and conducted airdrops of supplies.

“In order to support the combatant commander our crews require the skills necessary to safely deliver critical personnel and equipment in precarious and harsh conditions, including planning around inclement weather,” said Maj. Eric Dueno, 913th Operations Support Squadron director of tactics.

“Our intelligence office has put together realistic scenarios that add a level of complexity in addition to the unique terrain,” said Capt. Nicolas Moore, 913 OSS director of intelligence.  “All which combine to simulate deployment planning and execution.”

The total force training hones the Reserve unit’s skills as a combat ready force, ensuring the unit continues to provide critical airlift capabilities at home and abroad.

“Typically, the C-130J is used in theatre to provide regularly scheduled airlift service to support multiple deployed organizations,” said Maj. Andrew Maston, mission commander. “At times, the warfighter might have a special requirement or be located in difficult terrain. That’s when we have to use our knowledge and skills to deliver nearly anything and everything at the right time. How we train today dictates how we can rapidly respond tomorrow.”

The Reserve group is mainly a part-time force of traditional reservists, using the one weekend a month, two weeks a year to train. Training scenarios, such as the one conducted, maximize the resources available to accomplish as much readiness requirements as possible.

“We teach our crews to adapt and mitigate factors which might hinder the mission. We implemented health precaution measures in order to mitigate COVID-19 risks and adjusted training to account for severe weather, while conducting this deployment readiness training,” Dueno said. “In order to face our near-peer adversaries, we must continue to adapt while focusing on restoring and even increasing our capabilities.”