Westover conducts joint training in March

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Alexander Lowe
  • 439th Airlift Wing

Master Sgt. Tom Rowland, exercise planner with the 58th Aerial Port Squadron, coordinated a joint-unit training with FEMA on March 14, 2022, increasing mission readiness while saving money by utilizing his low-budget plan.

The 42nd and 58th Aerial Port Squadron (APS) conducted joint training with the 103rd Airlift Wing, the 916th Air Refueling Wing and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on March 14, 2022.

Tasked with planning the yearly training for both the 58th and the 42nd APS, Rowland reached out to other units within the wing in order to organize a joint-unit training plan. By compiling their training together with this diverse co-op training plan, the units were able to better utilize their budgets while still accomplishing their training requirements.

Colonel Brandon Stepp, commander of the 439th Mission Support Group, congratulated MSgt Rowland, saying "I am reminded of the good, cheap, fast conundrum; as the notion goes, you can choose two, but you can't have all three. However, in the case of Eagle Fang, Master Sgt. Rowland was able to hit the sweet spot and achieve all three."

The training exercises provided the opportunity for Westover aerial porters to train with FEMA, joining the skill sets of these two groups together to create a well-rounded training exercise for all involved.

Westover aerial porters had the opportunity to train with the C-130 Hercules, focusing on drop zone recovery and engine running onload/offload of equipment. Additionally, Airmen from the 103rd Logistics Readiness Squadron and APS were able to train on static loading of Westover's C-5M Super Galaxy and loading the 916th ARW's KC-46 Pegasus, which is important training that they usually do not have the opportunity to do.

Both Westover APS and FEMA benefited immensely from the joint training. Westover Airmen were able to practice their operations on different equipment and navigate new challenges, while FEMA representatives were able to certify their vehicles for airworthiness, which in turn, increases their mission operability.

These training exercises improved the skill set of all units involved, due in large part to the planning and readiness of MSgt Rowland. The combined training needs of multiple organizations were successfully completed while also reducing the cost of individual exercises.

"When you bring everybody together," said Rowland, "as long as everyone gets their training piece of the pie, everybody's happy and it's successful."