Travis Air Force Base Airmen confront arctic weather

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Jonathan Valdes Montijo
  • 673d Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Airmen hosted a five-day training for Airmen from Travis Air Force Base, Calif., at JBER, Alaska, Nov. 18-22, 2019.

Fighter, carrier and refuel aircrafts were used as part of the de-icing/anti-icing operations training – with participation from the 821st Contingency Response Group which falls under the bi-coastal 621st Contingency Response Wing, Joint Base McGuire Dix Lakehurst, NJ and Travis, and 3rd and 176th Wing from JBER.

The purpose of the training was to gain qualification/certification on aircraft de-icing, de-ice vehicle operations, and an opportunity to perform aircraft maintenance during cold weather conditions.

“The de-ice simulator training is an awesome capability the 732nd AMS offers trainees,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Dave Pimentel, 821st CRS maintenance flight chief assigned to Travis. “It allows an individual who has never operated a de-ice basket to become quite familiar, and proficient with the basket controls and overall de-icing operation, without feeling the added pressure of maneuvering around an actual aircraft.”

He also mentioned how the virtual reality software enables trainees to have a real life-like immersive experience, and how the simulator can be adjusted to fit any type of weather condition.

Furthermore, he added how his team members who have never performed de-icing operations, expressed to him that the simulator made it a lot less stressful for them when they de-iced actual aircraft throughout the week.

The training experience becomes priceless when it comes to ensuring maximum readiness for the wide range of potential mission situations.

“The 821st CRS has a multi-faceted mission and this training prepares them for contingencies in an arctic environment,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Gered Crawford, 732nd AMS lead production superintendent.

Pimentel emphasized the importance of contingency response aircraft maintainers needing to be ready to deploy and operate in any and all climates and locations.

“The experiences, training, and qualifications obtained here at JBER are vital to ensuring our aircraft maintainers are proficient in artic environments,” Pimentel said.

The training not only helped Travis Airmen expand their knowledge and maintain their readiness, but it also benefited JBER Airmen as well.

It benefited the 732nd AMS by liberating them from excess work, augmenting their maintainers, and maximizing their time to work on additional aircraft if necessary.

 “It also gave our men and women time for a tactical pause which this time of year is as important as ever,” Crawford said.

None of the trainings and opportunities would be possible unless the squadrons worked in unison.

“This training has been extremely helpful in increasing our understanding of cold weather operations and environments, and we are grateful to all JBER units who hosted us,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Nathan Tawbush, 821st CRS command section executive assistant.

Pimentel mentioned how grateful he was to JBER and all involved squadrons, especially the 732nd AMS.

“The 732nd AMS went above and beyond and assisted with our travel arrangements, lodging, and transportation requirements for this trip,” Pimentel said.