Misawa and Yokota collaborate despite COVID-19

  • Published
  • By Melanie A. Bulow-Gonterman
  • 35th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
The 35th Logistics Readiness Squadron coordinated with the 36th Airlift Squadron from Yokota Air Base, Japan to conduct airland cargo training at Misawa AB, Japan, May 28.

Four C-130J Super Hercules touched down at Misawa carrying approximately 9,000 pounds of mail belonging to Misawa AB residents; however, delivering mail was just one benefit for both Yokota and Misawa.

“The mail brought from Yokota was an agreement between the 36th AS and the 35th LRS, serving as a win-win situation for both units, with the aircrew receiving airland training following the mail delivery,” said Staff Sgt. Tristan Caro, a 35th LRS air transportation craftsman.

The pandemic created challenges for Airmen to receive the upgrade training needed for their job. However, this collaboration gave new loadmasters the opportunity to hone their skills.

“Normally, we train with airland cargo through Air Mobility Command tasked-missions. However, COVID-19 created some challenges we needed to work through,” said Staff Sgt. Ralph Colas, a 36th AS C-130J Super Hercules instructor loadmaster. “Our newer loadmasters were missing the experience needed to be well-trained and versed in their primary duty.”

Routinely the 36th AS missions involve cargo being air dropped. Airdrop and airland have some similar elements as far as loading goes on the ground but the offloading portion is what differs.

The 35th LRS air transportation team acquired four pieces of unique equipment: an F-16 Fighting Falcon engine trailer on a T2 pallet, an ammo explosives trailer, a C-10C air conditioner, and an MJ-1 bomb-lift for the 36th AS loadmaster to load.”

“Working with the 36th AS was a great experience because it allowed us to collaborate with different units to ensure our Airmen got the training they needed,” said Caro. “It was the first time we’ve had four C-130s parked consecutively on flight-line since I have been in Misawa.”

This is the second time training has been conducted between the two units since the pandemic.

“The 35th LRS was extremely helpful with all the coordination and acquiring the cargo that we utilized for training,” said Colas. “It was a great working experience and we would like to continue this in the future.”