An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Yokota Airmen, US Army improve mission readiness during JPMRC 24-02

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Natalie Doan
  • 374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Airmen assigned to the 36th Airlift Squadron at Yokota Air Base, Japan, conducted a joint forcible entry exercise alongside members of the U.S. Army 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 11th Airborne Division, during Joint Pacific Multinational Readiness Center 24-02 at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, Feb. 8.

Hosted by the Army, JPMRC is an annual exercise that prepares forces for deployment operations in an Arctic environment. It includes situational training and live-fire exercises in an effort to refine the large-scale combat capabilities needed in cold-weather conditions.

During the JFE, members of the 36th AS flew four C-130J Super Hercules aircraft, facilitating the airlift of 200 paratroopers with the 11th AD. The paratroopers then performed an airborne assault into simulated enemy territory.

The 36th AS worked with the Army months in advance to guarantee yet another successful airdrop. This allowed aircrew members to focus on the tactical portions of the mission once they arrived at JBER.

Before the event kicked off, all aircrew members came together for a final day of mission planning. JPMRC 24-02 is the first exercise that has loadmasters fully integrated in the mission planning cell, side-by-side with pilots. As the subject matter experts for ground operations and airdrop planning, they coordinated these aspects of the exercise, establishing user requirements.

“All of these actions were previously addressed by pilots,” said Staff Sgt. Kaylynn Staba, 36th AS instructor loadmaster. “However, due to the extensive training and experience of all loadmasters, they are better suited to accomplish these actions to a greater level of detail. This is the future of mission planning in the C-130 community and will be a core competency for loadmasters moving forward.”

This integration between pilots and loadmasters proved invaluable for the 36th AS.

“In pre-mission planning, having all members of the crew involved was vital for positive crew resource management and communication for the next day,” said Capt. Jordan Paecht, 36th AS C-130J pilot. “Since the members involved were on the same page from planning the day prior, flying the JFE was the easy part.”

The JFE was not without its challenges, though. With 50 paratroopers aboard each aircraft, the 36th AS could not safely airdrop the paratroopers all at once. They therefore implemented pre-planned tactics, techniques and procedures to return to the drop zone as quickly as possible for subsequent personnel drops.

“JFEs are some of the most unique opportunities for a C-130 pilot,” said Paecht. “Practicing with the four-ship that we brought to JBER provided plenty of opportunities to improve our skills. Everything from large formation basics, to live user coordination, to contingency planning was emphasized to achieve success.”

The 36th AS consistently conducts local training to simulate these aspects of a mission, and exercises like JPMRC give the 36th AS an opportunity to enhance their mission readiness alongside joint partners in a realistic scenario.

“Whenever we have the opportunity to conduct exercises alongside the Army, we are eager to put our efforts to the test,” said Paecht. “Doing this allows us to practice cross-communication between services, consider the ramifications of mission changes and balance priorities as all parties try to maximize our training opportunities.”