LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. --
The 19th, 314th and 189th Airlift Wings and 913th Airlift Group participated in a Total Force Integration skills competition on Nov. 12 at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas.
Hosted by the 314th AW, the competition, referred to as a turkey shoot, contained four phases with the purpose of challenging and developing multi-capable Airmen by enhancing their Agile Combat Airlift skills.
“The first phase of this competition was a ground phase for loadmasters to help identify where they could precisely deliver cargo,” said Maj. Jonathan Avera, 314th AW chief of tactics. “For the next two phases we conducted two low-level flights with the GPS simulated as inoperable. One was to an All American landing zone and the other was to a simulated-downed aircrew member in the middle of a lake. The last phase was a flight idle slow down competition to see who completed the best slow down to a full stop.”
During this first phases, maintainers fixed and prepped the aircraft, launch crews marshalled and safely launched eight Herks on time, and loadmasters partook in focused ground operations.
In line with Air Mobility Commands’ priority to develop Total Force Mobility Airmen and advance warfighting capabilities to operate more quickly and with greater agility, the competition was designed to be a team effort across Active-Duty, Reserve, Guard, uniformed, and civilian Airmen. It required the entire Total Force to be successful.
“This is a fun way of employing the aircraft to break up the everyday grind with some friendly competition,” said Tech. Sgt Dustin Rice, 34th Combat Training Squadron C-130 Instructor. “These type of training events help build comradery throughout the entire base to include the guard and reserve. It gives the winning unit bragging rights along with the turkey trophy to prove they are the best on base.”
Herk Nation’s Airmen showcased their ability to provide a multitude of capabilities in-garrison, and ensure they are able to use these skills when forward deployed.
Aspects of the competition, such as an airdrop used to simulate precise delivery of food, water, and medical supplies for a downed aircrew member, validates the ability of Mobility Airmen to effectively perform every aspect of operations by testing skills not frequently used.
“Team members that are involved in this competition execute to a non-standard mission set,” Avera said. “It’s something we don’t get to train on that often. It’s great for our crewmembers so that whenever they do deploy, they can go with the experience gained from this exercise.”
The 913th AG took home the turkey trophy for this round, spurring on the rest of Herk Nation to elevate the level of competition for chance to showcase their skillset in the future.
These training competitions aim to maximize full-spectrum readiness and maintain our competitive advantage in a rapidly changing operations environment.
“Our scores with operations and maintenance for each aircraft are combined to determine who the best overall team is—but it’s important for the Total Force to identify that we all have to work together to achieve the greatest results and be the best combat airlifters that we can be,” Avera said.