HomeNewsArticle Display

US, India airdrop training mission a historic one

Indian air force Wing Cmdrs. Sukumar S. Kumar and Anil Vesma, discuss the aerial procedures of the 517th Airlift Squadron prior to an air drop mission Sept. 9, 2014, at Joint Base Elmnedorf-Richardson, Alaska. Indian air force personnel were visiting Elmendorf as part of a tactics, techniques and procedures exchange program between the two countries. It marked the first time such training has been conducted between India and the U.S. Air Force at Elmendorf. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Sheila deVera)

Indian air force Wing Cmdrs. Sukumar S. Kumar and Anil Vesma, discuss the aerial procedures of the 517th Airlift Squadron prior to an air drop mission Sept. 9, 2014, at Joint Base Elmnedorf-Richardson, Alaska. Indian air force personnel were visiting Elmendorf as part of a tactics, techniques and procedures exchange program between the two countries. It marked the first time such training has been conducted between India and the U.S. Air Force at Elmendorf. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Sheila deVera)

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska (AFNS) -- Airmen from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska and the Indian air force achieved a historic milestone after completing a joint air transportability training sortie Sept 9.

Three Indian air force airmen rode along on a C-17 Globemaster III crewed by the 517th Airlift Squadron as part of a tactics, techniques and procedures exchange program between the two countries. It marked the first time such training has been conducted between India and the U.S. at Elmendorf.

"We are here to practice procedures we are adopting in India," said Wing Cmdr. Sukumar S.Kumar, the Indian air force’s 77th Squadron parajump instructor leader. "Quite often, this will help us when operating together in the future."

The three-day exchange allowed the IAF members to see many different facets of Elmendorf. The highlight of the exchange was the sortie, in which Soldiers jumped and their equipment was airdropped to Allen Army Airfield, Fort Greely, Alaska.

"As pilots, our objective was to see and understand how USAF pilots are operating their aircraft while the drops are taking place," said Squadron Leader Hans Raj Bhatt, a 77th Squadron C-130J Hercules pilot and the transport combat leader. "We want to see and compare the nuances so we have a better understanding of how to better operate."

U.S. Air Force Capt. Zach Coburn, a 517th Airlift Squadron C-17 instructor pilot, said focusing on communication was a key teaching and learning point for the sortie.

"Communication is very important," Coburn said. "There are critical crunch points throughout the flight. The IAF was able to observe and see they have a lot of the same challenges and we shared ideas on how to work through them."

Bhatt said he agreed with Coburn and said the trip also served as a quality control check. The IAF had received similar training three years ago at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas.

"The procedures we have set in place, they are primarily based upon the training that was imparted to us during out trip to Little Rock," Bhatt said. "The objective was to see if we have departed anywhere from that training, and we are happy to say we have not. That's a big takeaway for us."

Although the pilots who visited currently fly the C-130J, the Indian air force is beefing up its transport capability in the form of a C-17 fleet.

"The IAF will have the second largest C-17 fleet in the world," said U.S. Air Force Maj. Michael Bliss, the 703d Aircraft Maintenance Squadron commander. "They are a key partner in the Pacific Command area of responsibility. Events like this, where ideas and lessons learned are exchanged, are key to the further interoperability in capabilities such as airlift, air delivery, search and rescue, and aeromedical evacuation."

Bliss emphasized the mutual shared benefit of the program as key to the program's success.

"I think both countries desire to coordinate closely to enhance the ability for PACAF (Pacific Air Forces) and IAF to operate alongside each other in bi/multi-lateral operations. Tactical exchanges like this will make that a reality,” Bliss said.

While there are worlds of difference between a C-130 and a C-17, Bhatt said the concepts of airdrop and transportation is similar.

"The concepts are more or less the same, so we received some very beneficial training," Bhatt said. "It was an awesome learning experience."

Both sides had only glowing reports for each other.

"They are extremely professional, upstanding and friendly people," Coburn said. "They were here to observe but wanted to help wherever they could - push a pallet or carry something. It's always rewarding when you get to meet an individual who does the same thing you do but from a different cultural perspective. Meeting them and learning from them was a fantastic experience."

The Indian air force echoed their counterpart's words.

"We are proud and privileged to be here," said Wing Cmdr. Sukumar S. Kumar. "Everyone we have interacted with has been so warm and welcoming. The crew we flew with today was very professional. We are looking forward to when we can do this again."

Engage

Twitter
RT @DefenseOne: JOIN US TODAY @ 2 P.M. ET when our “State of Defense” series continues with a live interview featuring U.S. Air Force Chief…
Twitter
RT @DeptofDefense: Teaching service members how to effectively shoot weapons. That’s the job of Combat Arms Training and Management. Watch…
Twitter
RT @cmsaf_official: Team - 25 years ago today, we lost 24 U.S. & Canadian Airmen in the Yukla 27 crash. It was a surveillance training so…
Twitter
Taking care of Airmen and their families! https://t.co/AVeidzDPcV
Twitter
Wherever Airmen go, the Federal Voting Assistance Program ensures their voice is heard. @FVAP works to ensure servi… https://t.co/tkJts1yo3Z
Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: For #HispanicHeritageMonth, we're celebrating the stories of Hispanic & Latino Airmen! @188thWG SSgt. Emmanuel Gutierrez…
Twitter
#TotalForce Airmen participate in night operations during a base-wide, total force exercise @HAFB. Airmen & pilots… https://t.co/kJYNKwHY7n
Twitter
RT @USAFReserve: California fires/smoke no match for UTA Airmen - https://t.co/pJysQ6snRh (Story by the @940Wing) #ReserveReady #ReserveRes
Twitter
Whistleblowers are NOT insider threats. Learn the difference and how you can appropriately report questionable gove… https://t.co/AaTvBfHcTv
Twitter
SrA Denise Arabie, 319th Operations Support Squadron radar approach controller @319thRW, describes the importance o… https://t.co/zkwMx6Qw3i
Twitter
RT @173rdFW: "I may have lost everything, but thanks to the support we’ve found here, I’m going to be back on my feet inside of a few weeks…
Twitter
.@GenCQBrownJr & @cmsaf_official sat down and discussed how the Air Force will continue exempting Airmen from PT t… https://t.co/bWVig9fSOW
Twitter
SrA Mark Gonzalez describes how his job enables the B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber to support the Bomber Task Force depl… https://t.co/sceKCtM3Pz
Twitter
RT @AETCommand: Our Airmen come from all walks of life — and we are stronger for it. Staff Sgt. Kalinin, 56th Force Support Squadron ALS…
Twitter
“It's critical to have that diversity in the Air Force that we have today because it is truly through that diversit… https://t.co/RIDQDjdlCr
Twitter
F-16 Fighting Falcons assigned to the 18th Aggressor Squadron @EielsonAirForce takeoff in support of exercise Valia… https://t.co/cf0raGgEUD
Twitter
RT @USAF_ACC: "This test, and others like it, can shape the future of the MQ-9, as we continue to increase its relevance in great power com…
Twitter
"We cannot rest on our laurels. It is all about the people, folks, and they will guarantee our readiness, and are f… https://t.co/BsNDUSw0wE
Twitter
RT @USAFCENT: USAFCENT Airmen and coalition partners are executing missions of national, regional and global importance and Exercise Desert…
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,281,142
Follow Us