by Senior Airman Emmanuel Santiago
103rd Airlift Wing, Public Affairs
10/24/2014 - EAST GRANBY, Conn. -- Airmen
from the 103rd Airlift Wing at Bradley Air National Guard Base
supported multiple joint Army air transportation training missions Sept.
5 and Oct.
The first JAATT mission supported by the Connecticut Air National Guard
took place in the skies above Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia, where
members the Army, Navy and Air Force received hands-on paratrooper
training while aboard an Air Force C-130H Hercules aircraft assigned to
the 103rd AW.
There were approximately 600 trainees and two aircraft rotating
constantly to get them in the sky and dropped, said Lt. Col. William
Daniels, a pilot assigned to the 118th Airlift Squadron.
The Flying Yankees supported an additional JAATT mission the following
month when a C-130H assigned to the 103rd AW lifted 20 Army paratroopers
alongside another Connecticut C-130H containing heavy equipment. The
heavy equipment was a simulated tactical re-fueling station that held
blivets full of water rather than actual fuel, and the necessary
equipment to ensure the load would safely land on the ground.
The equipment was initially dropped and closely followed by the
paratroopers. In actual operations, once both are on the ground, the
paratroopers would set up the station, allowing helicopters to stop and
refuel in these designated forward-operating areas.
Each C-130H is operated with a crew of officers and enlisted Airmen that
worked together to ensure a smooth operation. Once approaching the
drop zone, the pilots signal the crew to initiate the drop process. The
goal is to hit the initial target and have one continuous line of
A number of variables must be considered in order to complete a
successful air drop and a seasoned team is critical to that success.
Teamwork is developed through practice and training.
"This training allows us to grow as a team and brings us one step closer
to becoming an operational unit and bringing the fight to the enemy,"
The successful execution of this new mission capability marks another
stepping-stone for the Flying Yankees as their mission conversion