Kentucky Air Guardsmen share tactical knowledge in Bangladesh
By 1st Lt Cammie Quinn, Cope South Public Affairs Officer
KURMITOLA AIR BASE, Bangladesh – A loadmaster from the Kentucky Air National Guard shared his knowledge of heavy-equipment airdrop procedures with an audience of more than 20 Bangladesh Air Force Airmen here April 22.
Tech. Sgt. Joshua Shelby is one of more than 65 U.S. troops participating in Cope South 2012, a bilateral tactical airlift exercise conducted with the Bangladesh and U.S. Air Forces. Approximately 25 of the participants hail from the Kentucky Air Guard, while the rest of the American Forces come from the Georgia Air National Guard; and Yokota, Kadena and Misawa Air Bases in Japan.
The Guardsmen deployed with two C-130H transports, and the Bangladesh Air Force is contributing one AN-32 aircraft.
This year, Cope South participants will exchange airlift, air-land and airdrop delivery techniques, as well as develop and expand combined airlift capabilities with the Bangladesh Air Force, officials said.
Shelby shared the effect of air speed, altitude and wind speeds on parachutes upon deployment from a C-130 and other conditions to consider when conducting an air drop.
“The Bangladesh air force may be able to integrate some of our procedures into theirs,” Shelby said. “This exchange allows us to share our capabilities, discuss different methods and demonstrate how to do everything safely.”
Safety and terrain maneuvering are paramount issues for the Bangladesh Air Force.
“In our country, we practice more with paratroopers,” said Maj. Arman Chokldhuvy, a Bangladesh squadron commander. “We want to experience how the U.S. Air Force flies in our terrain and use it to help guide us to be safer in low-level flying during airdrops and deliveries.”
In this exchange, the major said he hopes his team learns different airdrop procedures and identifies possible improvements to their procedures.
“We’re expecting to learn different flying techniques and aspects of flight to assist us with delivering heavy loads for disaster-management missions,” he added.
Throughout the six-day exercise, which concludes April 26, participants are scheduled to conduct cooperative flight operations, including aircraft generation and recovery, low-level navigation, tactical airdrop and air-land missions. They also will conduct subject-matter expert exchanges in the operations, maintenance and rigging disciplines.
All these skills enhance the ability of forces to respond to regional disasters, said Maj. Matt Quenichet, Cope South mission commander for the Kentucky Air National Guard.
“Primarily, we will focus on increasing interoperability with our two teams,” he said. “We’ll exchange airdrop techniques and demonstrate low-cost, low-altitude capabilities.”
The teams will work side-by-side throughout the exercise to enhance readiness, cultivate common bonds and foster goodwill between members of both air forces.
One Airman participating in Cope South 2012 said he expects to learn about a new culture and is excited to work with the different crews.
“I’m looking forward to showing our partners how we operate, and to see how similar or different it is to their methods,” said Airman 1st Class Aaron Dossey, a Kentucky Air National Guard loadmaster from Louisville, Ky. “I am anxious about the language barrier, but I think we can work past it with hands-on exchanges.”