|Paper||Hill Air Force Base Newspapers|
|Rights||No Copyright - United States (NoC-US)|
|Publisher||Digitized by J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah|
|Paper||Hill Air Force Base Newspapers|
HILLTOP TIMES TIMES April 16, 2009 HILL SAYS GOODBYE Col.StephenE.Mittuch,Aug.25,1962-Apr.5,2009 Above, pilots from the 419th Fighter Wing perform a "Missing Man" formation at the close of a memorial service in honor of Col. Stephen E. Mittuch, 419th Maintenance Group commander. Left, Senior Master Sgt. Rulon Walker, member of the 419th FW Honor Guard, presents Cinde Mittuch with an American flag in memory of her husband. Below left, memorabilia is displayed on a table at the memorial service in remembrance of his life and his service in the Air Force. STAFF SGT. KYLE BRASIER/U.S. Air Force Above, Col. Walter Jr Sams, 419th FW commander, takes a moment to honor the memory of Col. Stephen E. Mittuch. Sams spoke at the memorial service. 'Call in the National Guard' OO-ALC paralegal participates in multi-service helicopter operations at Maxwell AFB BY LT. COL. KJALL GOPAUL LeMay Center for Doctrine Development and Education Chief, Doctrine Education Division S oldiers of Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 131st Aviation Regiment of the Alabama Army National Guard, successfully teamed with Airmen from Maxwell Air Force Base on March 21 for tactical UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter passenger training and an ambitious cross-country slingload exercise. The slingload ground crew consisted of specially trained Airmen from the LeMay Center for Doctrine Development and Education, the 25th Aerial Port Squadron, and the Air Force Culture and Language Center, while passengers were from Air University, the AF Judge Advocate General's School, 908th Airlift Wing, and 42nd Airbase Wing. Using a crawl-walk-run approach, the morning "crawl" began with passenger safety briefings, organizing the 32 Airmen into "chalks," issuing rubber M-16s and practice load training with fold-out chairs in aircraft configuration. Once the two aircraft arrived, the "walk phase" saw the Airmen receive a pre-flight passenger brief from Army Sgt. Don Morgan and Staff Sgt. Mark Boswell — the aircraft crew chiefs — followed by cold-load training on and off the static helicopters. For the "run," each chalk literally sprinted in team formation, loaded their assigned aircraft with the rotor blades turning, weapon in hand, buckled in, and gave a thumbs-up once loaded safely. After their flight, each chalk tactically off-loaded — exiting the aircraft, taking two steps and dropping to the ground in the prone supported firing position to defend the aircraft upon its departure from the landing zone. Master Sgt. Karen Hiers, director of the Paralegal Craftsman Course for the Air Force Judge Advocate General's School, planned the participation of 16 of her students in the exercise. She noted that, "Some of the NCOs had been crew chiefs before cross-training over to legal, so they were really excited about this because they had never actually flown on an aircraft before — this was going to be a new experience. It's a little ironic that when they were in a flying unit they never flew, but as part of our deployment and operations training at Maxwell AFB, they do fly. They loved it! They all said how this was so much more valuable because the training was so true-to-life, and not just simulations or CBTs (computer-based training)." T\vo of the students — lech. Sgt. Jason Yuncer, NCOIC of civil law for 60th Air Mobility Wing/JA at Travis AFB, and Staff Sgt. Frank Masella, NCOIC of adverse actions for the Ogden Air Logistics Center/JA at Hill AFB, both former crew chiefs — spoke at length about their experience. Tech. Sgt. Yuncer said, "I was lucky * to have a window seat, so I was right on the edge. I'd never been on a helicopter before; this was great training. I had no idea what it was like to on-load and off-load a Black Hawk. You see movies, but you never really know. Until we have to do it in the AOR, how many Airmen know what goes into a combat mission with a helicopter? Training-wise, now we know what it's MASTER SGT. BRIAN K. McNUTT Senior Airman David Davis, hook up man and loadmaster, 357th Airlift Squadron, prepares to attach a 4,000 pound Type V pallet platform to a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter from Alpha Company, 1-131 Aviation Regiment, Alabama Army National Guard, on Drop Zone Buzz in Autugaville, Ala., after it was airdropped by a C-130 from the 908th Airlift Wing as part of a multi-service exercise March 21. Maxwell Air Force Base routinely teams with Army aviation units to recover airdropped items back to Maxwell AFB. A total of eight slingloads were each flown 12 miles from Drop Zone Buzz back to Maxwell during the exercise. like and have a greater understanding and respect for what goes on. No one thought we'd be in the dirt, tactical hot loading, with weapons, laying under the rotor wash in the prone firing position simulating protecting the aircraft's departure. It makes you understand how much harder it would be to work in tough, sandy conditions overseas. That's really how it is, though, in the AOR. When the distances are short, you aren't going to use fixed wing aircraft to get around — everyone takes a helicopter. It would be a little more nerve-wracking if you were downrange and had never done it before. Now that you know the procedures, you won't have the same anxiety — you know how to handle your weapon and yourself. In a deployed situation, you wouldn't get the same preparation and training that we're receiving." Staff Sgt. Masella added, "We're joint now — it's a purple force. I'm sure some of the Airmen thought we were going to have a DV (distinguished visitor) flight — just show up, walk on the aircraft, and enjoy the view. That wasn't the case at all. We were getting down in the dirt, organized into small groups, hot loading and off-loading. Training as we fight. Airmen — paralegals included — are doing this in Iraq. It's good that we were able to learn this in a less stressful environment." In the afternoon, the training focus turned from passengers to cargo — specifically recovery of eight cargo items airdropped by C-130s airplanes from the 908th Airlift Wing onto Drop Zone Buzz, 12 miles west of Maxwell Air Force Base.