Loadmasters, Flight Engineers and Navigators needed
By Maj Bryon M. Turner, 103rd Airlift Wing, Public Affairs
/ Published December 07, 2013
BRADLEY AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE - East Granby, Conn. -- The Connecticut Air National Guard is looking for loadmasters, flight engineers and navigators to support the Flying Yankees' new C-130H mission.
"The team effort required to accomplish the mission in the C-130H is a wondrous thing to witness," said Maj. John Saunders, a recent C-130H navigator school graduate. "The idea of being able to do that mission as part of the Connecticut team in locations worldwide is just amazing."
Enlisted aircrew members play vital roles on that team as loadmasters and flight engineers. These two career fields are in high demand in Connecticut as the state's C-130H mission develops.
Loadmasters accomplish loading and offloading functions on the C-130H. They perform weight and balance calculations and other mission-specific requirements to ensure safety and comfort of personnel and cargo security during flight. Loadmasters also perform cargo and personnel airdrops in direct support of ground forces in a variety of environments.
"As a C-130 loadmaster, I'm proud to be a part of history as we build this new mission," said Tech. Sgt. Gerald R. Sisco. "The C-130 brings with it a diverse mission set ideal for building a diverse team of Airmen from all walks of life."
Enlisted members are also needed to monitor and maintain the various aircraft systems aboard the C-130H, assisting the aircraft's pilots as necessary during flight. The role of the flight engineer is critical to ensuring smooth and safe flight as they work together with the rest of the crew to accomplish the mission. The flight engineer must have a solid understanding of all of the aircraft's unique systems to trouble shoot potential issues both inflight and on the ground.
"Future flight engineers should be able to generally think quickly on their feet, have a confident mindset to be able to recognize and handle emergencies and situations independently that require actions (and) quick thinking--the personality to be a part of a crew and accomplish the mission," said Master Sgt. J.R. Torres, flight engineer.
The crew also needs commissioned officers to operate the aircraft's navigation systems to help guide the C-130H as the crew accomplishes assigned missions. Navigators also play a key role in ensuring the timely and accurate delivery of critical supplies, equipment and personnel through air drops. Navigators must have an understanding of the theory of flight, air navigation, meteorology, flying directives, aircraft operating procedures and mission tactics.
"As a navigator, the responsibility to airdrop paratroopers or equipment on time and on target is huge, but that is dwarfed by the satisfaction of knowing you are part of the crew that is getting the mission done; whether that's getting troops into the fight, delivering much needed supplies to our troops on the ground, or helping people during search and rescue and relief operations," said Saunders.
The new C-130H mission has opened the door to new career opportunities here at the Bradley Air National Guard Base. Recruiters are actively working to fill these opportunities, but there's still time to seek out one of these new jobs.
"We have many opportunities available for new recruits and prior service members," said Senior Master Sgt. Daniel P. Jenkins, recruiting and retention superintendent. "Some of these jobs could even come with incentives in some cases."
Those interested in rising to the challenge and supporting these emerging skillsets should visit GOANG.com or contact recruiting at 1-800-TO-GO-ANG for more information. If you are a prior service member with skills that would make you a good fit for one of these positions, please call our local recruiting office at 1-800-992-4793.