US, Poland train for humanitarian missions to Iraq

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Jarad A. Denton
  • U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa Public Affairs
Loadmasters from the U.S. and Poland began training together, Aug. 11, to sharpen the skills necessary to conduct humanitarian missions to Iraq.

"We want to be on the same page," said Polish Sgt. Hieronim Chabras, a 33rd Transportation Air Base C-130E Hercules loadmaster. "It is good to go over this training together before a mission like this."

The joint training was especially beneficial to the Airmen deployed from Ramstein Air Base, Germany. To date, U.S. military aircraft have delivered more than 27,000 gallons of fresh drinking water and nearly 100,000 meals to the displaced Iraqi people. The C-130's, flown by both Polish and American forces, are uniquely suited to handle the mass container delivery airdrops meant to alleviate the suffering in Iraq.

"Mass container delivery airdrops are one of the most effective ways to deliver combat and noncombat supplies and equipment," said U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Chelsea Sirmans, an 86th Operational Support Squadron joint airdrop inspector. "It's how we get the bullets, beans and bandages to the people who need them most, as quickly as possible."

The loadmasters came together to ensure both parties were as proficient as possible on their particular model of C-130. The Polish air force spent time brushing up on the technical specifications of the C-130E; while U.S. Airmen compared and contrasted the operational procedures of the E-model with the C-130J Super Hercules.

"We just helped each other clarify a few things we already knew," Sirmans said. "In a situation like the one the Polish will be flying into, you want to be 100 percent proficient and supremely confident in your aircraft and your skills."