6th Airlift Squadron Airmen practice for perfection

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Story by A1C Briana Cespedes on 12/17/2018
The 6th Airlift Squadron, called the Bully Beef Express became the first personnel transport squadron to fly in the Pacific. It was given the nickname "Boujili Boef" by the French during World War II when it transported large portions of boiled beef to French allies in Australia and New Guinea. The squadron continues to provide aerial transportation to this day conducting approximately 20 missions a month in addition to local exercises here at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.
Crew members from the 6th AS went out on Nov. 13th to practice combat maneuvers with the C-17 Globemaster III.
"I love being assigned to the C-17," said Tech. Sgt. Vince Fontana, 6th AS loadmaster instructor. "We have a lot of opportunity in this unit to move different cargo and experience different environments to directly support the frontline warfighting effort."
Missions at the 6th AS include humanitarian support, supply transport overseas, and one of its major duties, presidential support.
"We are the cargo for the president," said U.S. Air Force Capt. Scott Heinlein, 6th AS aircraft commander. "The president's limos, communication gear, secret service - all that kind of stuff. We also do humanitarian missions and move equipment or units overseas."
Heinlein took the role of aircraft commander accompanied by a crew to conduct a local assault landing and combat offload exercise. The assault landing is used in circumstances where the only landing zone available is a short strip. With practice, the pilots can land on a very short strip length in order to be adaptable in many environments, including dirt strips. During a combat offload the jet takes off with the rear bay open so the cargo can slide out while the jet accelerates on the flightline.
"Combat offload is something we try to do almost every local sortie." said Heinlein. "It's a way to take equipment off the jet faster without the need of a forklift. It's a unique capability of the C-17 and the C-130."
Routine training exercises maintain experienced pilots and crew. When they are in friendly air space, pilots practice non-standard maneuvers like the combat offload. These maneuvers are sometimes required in emergency situations when the necessary equipment is not available.
"Most of our skills are considered perishable so we practice them to stay proficient and ensure a higher level of safety when we have to use them." said Fontana. "A large percentage of our required training is to keep skills that we don't regularly use because when we do have to use them, there is a very low margin for error."
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