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Air Force Print News story: Loadmasters help reposition Australian Defense Forces

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  • Dave Bell
    Air Force Link story. You can view the original story at http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?storyID=123020899. Loadmasters help reposition Australian Defense
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 2, 2006
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      Air Force Link story. You can view the original story at
      http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?storyID=123020899.


      Loadmasters help reposition Australian Defense Forces
      By Tech. Sgt. Shane A. Cuomo
      Air Force Print News

      TOWNSVILLE, Australia (AFPN) -- The U.S. Pacific Command is using its
      strategic airlift capability to help the Australian Defense Force. At the
      request of the Australian government, two C-17 Globemaster IIIs from Hickam
      Air Force Base, Hawaii, are moving equipment and troops from the Solomon
      Islands back to Australia. This will help Australia position its forces to
      respond more rapidly to unrest in neighboring East Timor.

      The biggest part of the mission ;involves the loading and unloading of
      passengers and cargo.

      "We're in charge of passenger safety (and) ensuring the cargo is loaded
      correctly ... ;the weight and balance (must be) correct so that the
      aircraft will fly safely," said Master Sgt. Mike Cumberland, a loadmaster
      ;with the 535th Airlift Squadron.

      "Weight and balance, input incorrectly, can cause an aircraft to crash, so
      we have a tremendous responsibility on our shoulders," he said.

      With a full tank of fuel the C-17 can carry about 165,000 pounds of cargo
      and passengers. With its flexibility the aircraft can get to just about any
      airfield in the world and transport just about anything in the Department
      of Defense inventory. So far Trek 21, the call sign for one of Hickam's
      C-17s, has hauled approximately 100,000 pounds for the Australians.

      "Being a loadmaster is great. There's a lot of responsibility in it,
      there's a lot of travel, transporting the troops and cargo ;-- it's very
      satisfying to be able to get everything in the plane on time and take off
      on time and just get things done," said Airman James Ngo, a loadmaster
      ;with the 535th AS. ;
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