Members of the New York Air National Guard 107th Airlift Wing and the Air Force Reserve's 914th Airlift Wing participated in joint service training with the U.S. Army's 10th Mountain Division at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station on Oct. 12-13.
Base officials report the exercise involved preparing heavy loads of equipment, airdropping them and training U.S. airmen and soldiers to quickly locate and allocate the potentially life-saving supplies during combat and field maneuvers.
"We have many air drops in Afghanistan," said Master Sgt. Todd Russell, a loadmaster with the 30th Aerial Port Squadron. "We use these drops to give them anything they need, such as water, ammunition, and Meals, Ready to Eat (or MRE)."
In order for the military to get these supplies on-target and on time when and where it counts, the airmen and soldiers train on the equipment both at Niagara Falls and Fort Drum.
U.S. Army Warrant Officer Jose Seguinot, an airdrop systems technician stationed at Fort Drum, called the instruction his soldiers received this week instrumental for U.S. service members in theater.
"(This training) is really important to learn," said Seguinot. "This is the best method of resupply in theater, and these guys going through it are going to be the ones recovering all this equipment down range."
Russell said instead of flying all the way to Fort Bragg, N.C., to move troops and supplies for training, the Air Force can fly to Fort Drum to assist the 10th Mountain Division soldiers with their training, which saves the military time and money.
The Air Force Reserve, Guard and active duty soldiers benefit from this training said Russell. Everyone at Niagara Falls and Fort Drum has been enthusiastic about this training, he added.
"This joint training between Air Force Reserve, Guard and active duty army personnel personifies the ‘Total Force' concept," said Master Sgt. Ralph Baker, a loadmaster with the 30th Aerial Port Squadron. "I believe the more that the uniformed services share resources and knowledge, the stronger we will be in the future defense of our nation and the world."
Seguinot, Baker and Russell said this week's two-day training session is only the beginning for this joint endeavor, and that service members are looking forward to more training between the Army and the Air Force.