Training to the Edge

Taking advantage of transitioning from the legacy C-130 Hercules to the C-130J, the 317th Airlift Group at Dyess AFB, Tex., is reworking training profiles to reflect deployed tactics in Afghanistan. “Our idea, when we came here to stand up the ‘J,’ was to start with a clean slate,” said 317th AG pilot Maj. Justin Diehl. “Afghanistan is one of the most dynamic environments you’ll ever fly in. If we’re training to that standard, pilots are going to be much better trained and be able to adapt to airfields they’re not used to,” he added. Loading the aircraft with pallets of concrete block to simulate tactical loads, trainers push pilots to use the aircraft to full potential. “We challenge them on their profiles and make them fly more aggressive[ly] . . . so when they get into their [deployed operating location], it’s all very familiar to them,” added Diehl. (Dyess report by A1C Damon Kasberg)