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US, Poland train for humanitarian missions to Iraq

Master Sgt. Chris Minnifield, center right, discusses the finer points of C-130 Hercules mass container delivery airdrop operations with Polish air force service members Aug. 11, 2014, at Powidz Air Base, Poland. The bilateral training was to prepare Polish forces to conduct equipment and supply delivery missions to Iraq. Minnifield is a 37th Airlift Squadron loadmaster. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jarad A. Denton)

Master Sgt. Chris Minnifield, center right, discusses the finer points of C-130 Hercules mass container delivery airdrop operations with Polish air force service members Aug. 11, 2014, at Powidz Air Base, Poland. The bilateral training was to prepare Polish forces to conduct equipment and supply delivery missions to Iraq. Minnifield is a 37th Airlift Squadron loadmaster. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jarad A. Denton)

Polish air force Sgt. Zbigniew Krajniak  discusses mass container delivery airdrop operations with U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Chris Minnifield Aug. 11, 2014, at Powidz Air Base, Poland. The discussion served as refresher training for Polish forces preparing to deliver equipment and supplies to Iraq.  Krajniak is a 33rd Transportation Air Base loadmaster and Minnifield is a 37th Airlift Squadron loadmaster. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jarad A. Denton)

Polish air force Sgt. Zbigniew Krajniak discusses mass container delivery airdrop operations with U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Chris Minnifield Aug. 11, 2014, at Powidz Air Base, Poland. The discussion served as refresher training for Polish forces preparing to deliver equipment and supplies to Iraq. Krajniak is a 33rd Transportation Air Base loadmaster and Minnifield is a 37th Airlift Squadron loadmaster. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jarad A. Denton)

POWIDZ AIR BASE, Poland (AFNS) -- 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."

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