ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla.-- Airmen from the 97th Logistics Readiness Squadron trained members of the 190th LRS from Forbes Field Air National Guard Base, Kansas on the Tunner 60K Aircraft Cargo Loader/Transporter, July 26-30, 2021, at Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma.
Members of 97th LRS aerial operations flight use the vehicle, known more commonly as a “60K loader”, to empower the base’s mission, "We Train “Exceptional Mobility Airmen.” Capt. Isabella Zamarron, 97th LRS aerial operations flight commander, said the training arose from networking between members of her unit and the ANG unit.
“A member of my team knew a member of their team, and (we) were close together geographically. They (said) 'my unit is interested in 60K training and I know you work there. How do you feel about coordinating something between our units?’” she said. “It's definitely related to encompassing the total force effort and having that fighting capability. A lot of the guardsmen and reserves deploy on a fairly regular basis when we do.”
The week-long course consisted of learning general characteristics of the loader, the purpose behind the vehicle, the inspection process, operational safety and a graded obstacle course.
Staff Sgt. Spencer Lanston, 97th LRS air freight supervisor, said members of the 190th LRS will benefit greatly from the many capabilities the 60K loader provides.
“They should take away how important the K loader is - it's a massive tool,” he said. “It makes our job so much easier since it can move 6 pallets at a time. If we were having to do the same workload with just a forklift, it takes six times longer. It saves money, fuel, and time, so I just I hope they take away how useful it is and that they take the time to treat the K loader right. Make sure it's well maintained so that they can keep using it in the future.”
Staff Sgt. Jonathan Garrett, 190th LRS air freight craftsman, said 97th LRS Airmen provided a positive environment to pass on vital skills for members of his unit to use down the road.
“Everyone that we've come in contact with has been pretty friendly…they have pointed us in the right direction to give us the training that we need,” he said. “We're not going to be driving this, very often, but in deployed situations, we would drive them basically every day. I know that's when it's going to become invaluable for our guys later on.”
Lanston added that was grateful for the opportunity to share his knowledge with his total force partners, saying that it improves the home station and deployed capabilities of 190th LRS Airmen.
“It feels pretty nice that I'm able to use the skills that I've learned throughout my career to help other members. They're all guardsmen with capabilities to deploy in the future,” he said. “They're going to use these skills that I'm sharing with them for the betterment of the nation.”