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Aerial porters on track with pallet-train after unit's fourth C-130 arrives on station

An Airman assigned to the 103rd Logistics Readiness Squadron downloads cargo from a C-130 June 26, 2013, at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Jefferson S. Heiland)

An Airman assigned to the 103rd Logistics Readiness Squadron downloads cargo from a C-130 June 26, 2013, at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Jefferson S. Heiland)

BRADLEY AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE - East Granby, Conn. -- The fourth of eight C-130H Hercules aircraft earmarked for service with the 103rd Airlift Wing touched down here with a full load of cargo on Jan. 17, 2014.

On the following duty day, aerial porters assigned to the 103rd Logistic Readiness Squadron took the opportunity to achieve some valuable on-the-job training, working to download the six pallets from the aircraft's cargo area. Three of the six pallets were configured to handle oversized cargo and required special material handling equipment to get the job done.

When cargo exceeds the capacity of a standard pallet, it can be loaded and transported on two or more interconnected pallets, often referred to as a "pallet train" by aerial porters, said Capt. Matthew Scheidel, logistics readiness officer in charge of the Deployments and Distribution Flight within the 103rd Logistics Readiness Squadron.

For this task, the air transportation craftsmen used a K-Loader to remove a "T3" or a "train" of three pallets, and later used a forklift to remove three individual pallets from the aircraft.

"Eventually, downloading cargo like this will become routine but, right now, everything is new for our young Port Dawgs," Capt. Scheidel said. "They're laying the foundation for this new mission and learning as they go; they're doing a great job. Home-station opportunities like this are very valuable and keep us ahead of schedule for anything asked of the Small Air Terminal."

Another four aircraft are expected to arrive here in the weeks and months to come. In the meantime, the Airmen who conduct and support the C-130 mission here continue to train and increase their capabilities.