446th Airlift Wing participates in Talisman Saber 2013

By Airman 1st Class Madelyn McCullough/446th Airlift Wing Public Affairs on July 15, 2013

Nine Reservists from the 446th Airlift Wing flew south of the equator July 5 to Australia to aid in a multinational training exercise called Talisman Saber 2013. The 446th team supported the exercise by airlifting a Navy H-60 Seahawk helicopter and 24 sailors to the event.

According to the Australian Government Department of Defense, the biannual event provides the opportunity for U.S. and Australian forces to train in planning and conducting Combined Task Force operations.
Together, the 446th AW team and Reserve crews from March Air Reserve Base, Calif., carried to the event 90 passengers using three aircraft. These passengers included a variety of Navy personnel attending the six-week training exercise such as helicopter pilots, maintainers and ground support crews.

"We were pre positioning equipment there," said Lt. Col. Jon Bowser, 313th Airlift Squadron instructor pilot who was the aircraft commander for the mission. "We had 10 minutes to spare on our 18-hour duty day when we finally walked away from the airport."

With such a full duty day, the mission allowed Reservists time to gain valuable training.

"We got a lot of good training done. We got to back the airplane up, which is something we do in training, but operationally we don't get to do it that often," Bowser said. "Our trainee loadmaster got to take charge of that. And, one of our new pilots, this was his third mission ever, was able to be up in the seat on every (flight) of the mission."

In fact, the new pilot flew two out of the five flights that made up the mission.

"He was in the seat for every takeoff and landing so he got to talk on the radio, run checklists and do all the planning," said Lt. Col. Greg McCann, 313th AS instructor pilot. "It was really great training for him."

Overall, the mission allowed the Reservists to support Australian forces, the Navy, Reservists from other bases, and their own Airmen in training.