MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. --
The 25th Aerial Port Squadron took part in a series of tactical air drops here over the course of a tactical flying week in late March.
These drops were part of the larger exercise named Auburn Tide, a wing-wide demonstration of pre-deployment readiness aimed at sharpening the skills of 908th Airmen in the months leading up to the largest deployment in the wing’s history.
The 25th APS is responsible for processing personnel and cargo, rigging for drops and the recovery of equipment. Throughout the week, aerial porters planned, coordinated and executed drops to simulate delivering cargo from the air to deployed locations.
“We get a lot of good training out of this because we’re getting ready to deploy,” said Master Sgt. Neal Moore, lead rigger with the 25th APS. “This is the exact way we would be doing this in a deployed environment.”
Aerial porters have a hand in the air drop process from packing and inspecting parachutes to recovering and transporting cargo at the drop zone.
“This training is good practice because when we have to go hands on for a real-life mission we are as accurate as possible,” said Tech. Sgt. Gary Broaden, an air transportation specialist with the 25th APS. “Whether it be making sure we are rigging cargo correctly for air flight safety or even something as important as food or ammo to troops in deployed environments. Everything has to be precise, there’s no room for error.”
The 25th APS ability to quickly load and recover cargo, all while effectively working with its counterpart units is necessary in achieving deployment readiness. Auburn Tide concluded after a week and served to bolster mission readiness as the wing gears up for its biggest deployment to date.
Located at Maxwell Air Force Base and operating a fleet of nine C-130H Hercules cargo aircraft, the 908th is Alabama’s only Air Force Reserve wing. The wing has approximately 1,200 Reserve Citizen Airmen, serving in more than 20 career fields, with Air Reserve Technicians, civilian employees and Reservists on active duty tours conducting day-to-day operations. Over the spring and summer of 2021, the 908th will engage in the largest deployment in wing history - sending more than 300 Airmen to locations around the globe.