My GECU

Train as you fight: 1st AD Sust. Bde. conducts hands-on sling load training

Soldiers assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Special Troops Battalion, 1st Armored Division Sustainment Brigade, attach a Conex box to a CH-47 Chinook during sling load training at Biggs Army Airfield here Friday. For more on this story, see page 8A. Photos by Wendy Brown, Fort Bliss Bugle Managing Editor.

Soldiers assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Special Troops Battalion, 1st Armored Division Sustainment Brigade, attach a Conex box to a CH-47 Chinook during sling load training at Biggs Army Airfield here Friday. For more on this story, see page 8A. Photos by Wendy Brown, Fort Bliss Bugle Managing Editor.

By Wendy Brown, Fort Bliss Bugle Managing Editor:

(El Paso, Texas, March. 16, 2017) BIGGS ARMY AIRFIELD, Texas – One after the other, groups of Soldiers assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Special Troops Battalion, 1st Armored Division Sustainment Brigade, ran out to a Conex box here Friday for sling load training.

Two Soldiers held a ladder and stayed below while four, and sometimes five, Soldiers climbed up and hooked the box to a CH-47 Chinook hovering a few feet from their heads. Then, back down the ladder they went, and the Soldiers all linked arms to support each other as they ran away from the box and the helicopter. A hovering CH-47 can produce a downwash of up to 94 mph 50 feet away from the helicopter, according to one Army study.

Staff Sgt. Russell Horton, right, talks to Pvt. Ephrium Nicholson, left, both assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Special Troops Battalion, 1st Armored Division Sustainment Brigade, during sling load training at Biggs Army Airfield here Friday. Spc. Ethan Fleckenstein, far left, and Spc. Kevin Klar, next to him, await another round of training.

Staff Sgt. Russell Horton, right, talks to Pvt. Ephrium Nicholson, left, both assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Special Troops Battalion, 1st Armored Division Sustainment Brigade, during sling load training at Biggs Army Airfield here Friday. Spc. Ethan Fleckenstein, far left, and Spc. Kevin Klar, next to him, await another round of training.

When everyone was safely out of the way, the helicopter briefly lifted up the empty box and put it back down for another round. Soldiers assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 501st Aviation Regiment, Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st AD, assisted with the training.

Sgt. 1st Class Nicholas Phipps, assigned to HHC, STB, 1st AD Sust. Bde., said organizers relied on the old Army standard of “train as you fight” when putting together the training for the brigade’s 18-member sling-load team.

“Everything we do, if we have the capability on post, we like to implement (elements of reality) to make sure our guys are better prepared for a combat situation,” Phipps said. “It’s going to be fast and expedient downrange, so we want to make sure that we’re doing our part to support the warfighter.”

Spc. Sharnell Garrett, left front, assigned to HHC, STB, 1st AD Sust. Bde., attaches a Conex box to a CH-47 Chinook with two fellow Soldiers.

Spc. Sharnell Garrett, left front, assigned to HHC, STB, 1st AD Sust. Bde., attaches a Conex box to a CH-47 Chinook with two fellow Soldiers.

The training included one day of classroom training, another day of rigging training and one day of the hands-on training on the airfield, Phipps said.

In addition to the Conex box, the Soldiers also practiced hooking up a 1,500-pound load of meals ready to eat to the Chinook. Three at a time, the Soldiers attached the load’s netting to the bottom of the helicopter and quickly got out of the way so the helicopter could lift it up.

Spc. Dylan McNatt, upper center, assigned to the 2nd Bn., 501st Aviation Regiment, Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Armored Division, delivers communications from the bottom of a CH-47 Chinook as it hovers above a Conex box during sling load training at Biggs Army Airfield here Friday. Cpl. Andres Rios, in sunglasses, assigned to HHC, STB, 1st AD Sust. Bde., prepares to climb off the box with two fellow Soldiers.

Spc. Dylan McNatt, upper center, assigned to the 2nd Bn., 501st Aviation Regiment, Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Armored Division, delivers communications from the bottom of a CH-47 Chinook as it hovers above a Conex box during sling load training at Biggs Army Airfield here Friday. Cpl. Andres Rios, in sunglasses, assigned to HHC, STB, 1st AD Sust. Bde., prepares to climb off the box with two fellow Soldiers.

Cpl. Andres Rios, assigned to HHC, STB, 1st AD Sust. Bde., said brigade officials pulled Soldiers from different military occupational specialties for the sling load team, and he worked as a mechanic before joining the team about six months ago. Others are ammo and supply specialists.

Rios said he has participated in the training before, and he can’t help but find the training realistic every time the helicopter flies over his head.

“It’s the bird coming at you for me,” Rios said. “… After the initial gust of wind, you stay calm and do everything right.”

Sgt. Maj. Gavine Roache, sergeant major, Support Operations, 1st AD Sust. Bde., observed the training to ensure the Soldiers were doing everything safely.

A team of Soldiers assigned to HHC, STB, 1st AD Sust. Bde., lock arms so they don’t fall over as they run out from under the powerful blades of a CH-47 Chinook during sling load training at Biggs Army Airfield here Friday.

A team of Soldiers assigned to HHC, STB, 1st AD Sust. Bde., lock arms so they don’t fall over as they run out from under the powerful blades of a CH-47 Chinook during sling load training at Biggs Army Airfield here Friday.

An experienced sling loader, Roache said sling loading is an important option for commanders.

“Sling load training is important because it gives the commander a second option for resupply and it exposes less people to the risk of (improvised explosive device) and all those enemy actions that produce casualties,” Roache said. “It’s by far the quickest way to get supplies to our units out there in theater.”

For a few members of the team, the training was the first time they had participated in hands-on sling load training.

Pvt. Kwasi Kwarteng, assigned to HHC, STB, 1st AD Sust. Bde., said he had a healthy fear of standing right below a hovering Chinook, but used his Army training to face that fear and in the end found it exciting and fun.

A team of Soldiers lock arms so they don’t fall over as they run out from under the powerful blades of a CH-47 Chinook.

A team of Soldiers lock arms so they don’t fall over as they run out from under the powerful blades of a CH-47 Chinook.

 

Pvt. Deandre Haynes, right, communicates with Cpl. Andres Rios, left, both assigned to HHC, STB, 1st AD Sust. Bde., during sling load training at Biggs Army Airfield here Friday.

Pvt. Deandre Haynes, right, communicates with Cpl. Andres Rios, left, both assigned to HHC, STB, 1st AD Sust. Bde., during sling load training at Biggs Army Airfield here Friday.

“It was a good experience,” Kwarteng said. “Doing hands-on training, facing risk like this and doing something to support the Army with transportation and everything, that’s the exciting thing about it.”

Share

Short URL: http://fortblissbugle.com/?p=40867

Posted by on Mar 15 2017. Filed under Unit News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

Comments are closed

Advertisement EPCC Advertisement FSCX Corp Advertisement St. Marks Church Advertisement Las Cruces Country Music Festival Advertisement Call Now to Advertise

Search Archive

Search by Date
Search by Category
Search with Google
Advertisement Western Tech
Advertisement

Photo Gallery

Log in | Designed by Gabfire themes | The Bugle and The Bugle Online are published by Laven Publishing each Thursday.
The Bugle is an unofficial publication authorized by AR 360-1 and printed each Thursday in the interest of the Fort Bliss and El Paso, Texas, communities. It is the only publication allowed to be distributed on Fort Bliss property. The contents of The Bugle are not necessarily the views of, or endorsed by, the U.S. Government, the Department of Defense, the U.S. Army, or The Laven Group, LLC. The appearance of advertising in The Bugle does not constitute endorsement of the products or services advertised. Any article or service advertised in The Bugle will be made available for purchase, use or patronage without regard to any non-merit factor of consumers. If a violation or rejection of this equal opportunity policy by an advertiser is confirmed, advertising from that source will be discontinued until the violation is corrected. The Bugle has a circulation of 15,000 copies. Editorial content is prepared, edited and provided by the Public Affairs Office of Fort Bliss, Bldg. 15, (915) 568-4088 or fax (915) 568-3749. Items submitted for publication in The Bugle should be sent to fortblissbugle@gmail.com, or sent to Fort Bliss, Texas 79916, by noon on Friday before issue. All submissions become Army property and should be typed, double-spaced with the author’s name, signature, and mailing address. Photos should have information attached describing photo and have photographer’s full name. The editor reserves the right to reject or edit all submissions or advertising that do not conform to The Bugle’s journalistic standards. All photos are U.S. Army unless otherwise designated. The Bugle’s classified ad page is a free service reserved for active duty personnel, military retirees, military family members and DAC’s only. Because there is no fee, the only advertisements permitted to be published on this page are ads that cannot be considered commercial ventures. Ads must be written on the standard form published from time to time, or located at Bldg. 15. As classified ads are personal in nature, The Bugle cannot publish ads received through “Shotgun” mail or by fax. The Bugle is a registered trademark in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued Jan. 12, 1988, #1472244. The Bugle is published by the commanding general of Fort Bliss through The Laven Group, LLC, 5959 Gateway Blvd. West, Ste. 450, El Paso, Tx. 79925 • 772-0934, fax; 772-1594, email: susan@lavenpublishing.com. Check out the online version of The Bugle at http://fortblissbugle.com. Click on the e-Edition tab to view the entire newspaper electronically. For Bugle advertising information, call the Laven Publishing Group at 915-772-0934. For rates and mechanical information, visit http://lavenpublishing.com and click on the advertise tab.