U.S. Army and AF train together under ACE

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Dwane Young
  • 51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Osan’s 51st Maintenance Group (MXG) continued their full-press efforts to train Airmen to become multiple-capable by hosting its first integrated sling load training with the U.S. Army 2-2 Assault Helicopter Battalion from Seoul Air Base, Oct. 13, 2022.  

Maintainers took turns running through the rigorous process required to hook up a 4,000-pound Internal Slingable Unit (ISU-90), to a hovering U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopter to be carried away, simulating the rapid dispersal of U.S. Air Force assets across the Korean peninsula.

“Working at a main operating base, if an emergency occurs, we need creative ways to disperse our assets and still execute our mission,” said Capt. Tate Ashton, 51st MXG tactics officer. “Working with our Army counterparts and their helicopters to be more mobile made perfect sense.” 

This training was the result of six months of planning and coordination with soldiers from Camp Humphreys to support the USAF’s Agile Combat Employment (ACE) plan to produce multi-capable Airmen who regularly perform tasks outside of their usual specialty in order to be more well-rounded.  

Staff Sgt. Miles Euro, 51st Munitions Squadron munitions operations supervisor, embodies this concept as the only Osan Airman to complete his Sling Load Inspector Certification Courses (SLICC) and become certified.

“As maintainers we all consider ourselves to be a jack of all trades, so volunteering to learn a new skill that has a direct impact on our capabilities was an easy decision,” said Euro. “This was the first hands-on sling load training for the Airmen and the first time the 2-2 moved this kind of equipment, so we all received vital experience today,” said Euro. 

Osan’s Maintenance Group plans to regularly hold integrated sling load training to increase the number of Airmen and Non-Commissioned Officers that are SLICC certified.

“We are always looking for opportunities to improve our Airmen and capabilities, so maintenance has really embraced the possibilities that ACE offers,” said Ashton. “Our ultimate goal is to be trained up and ready, if or when we are called upon.”