Units designated as mobile and tasked with developing contingency plans (such as NMCBs) should continually maintain a list of air transportable equipment and the type of aircraft on which the equipment can be carried. This is necessary because the NCF and other types of mobile units are constantly receiving new and updated equipment.
The U.S. Air Force Airlift Mobility Command (AMC) is the primary transport service of the DoD. AMC provides scheduled and special airlifts of armed forces personnel for the following categories:
- Airlift support of basic or continuation aircrew training. This category may include static load training (unilateral training).
- Airlift purchased or contracted by a user for its own unilateral support. This is designated as a special assignment airlift mission (SAAM). This category includes commercial charter aircraft used to deploy a unit to an overseas site.
- Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) approved airlifts used in support of joint exercises. These are designated as JCS exercise airlifts. This category maybe required for multiservice/multinational exercises.
- Out-of-CONUS or theater service airlifts over established routes. These flights are designated as AMC channel flights and are normally managed similar to scheduled flights. This category also may be contracted to a commercial carrier to fly specific high-use routes.
- Joint Airborne/Air Transportability Training (JA/ATT) airlifts. These are part of an AMC-sponsored program that provides AMC aircrews and support units with training in the various AMC aircraft, equipment, and procedures. This category provides specific training data in the loading and transporting of all military equipment and particularly NCF-unique CESE.
Airlift requests must be prepared according to OPNAVINST 4630.18. It is important to remember that only equipment that is certified to be air transportable by the U.S. Air Force can be moved by AMC aircraft.
The unit requesting airlift support from AMC headquarters is required to provide specific personnel in support of the airlift. Support personnel are designated as follows:
Departure Airfield Control Group (DACG). The DACG is responsible for controlling all items to be airlifted. The DACG ensures that the flow of personnel, material, and equipment is smooth and efficient when called from the alert holding area to the call forward area. The DACG also is responsible for providing security, food service, and rest areas, if required.
Arrival Airfield Control Group (AACG). The AACG is responsible for the receipt of all airlifted items to the AMC-contracted airfield. The AACG also is responsible for ensuring orderly and timely movement of personnel, material, and equipment from the airfield to the deployment site. If troops remain at the arrival airfield area because of transportation or other unforeseen delays, the AACG team is responsible for providing food service, and rest areas, if required, at the arrival area.
The staging and marshalling area is where equipment and material are received and placed into a corfiguration (chalk) for each aircraft. All vehicles are checked for cleanliness and minor leaks are repaired. It is here that mobile loads are completed, vehicles are weighed and marked for center of balance, and cargo is palletized on approved Air Force 463L cargo pallets, which are also weighed and balanced. The staging and marshalling area is not necessarily in the vicinity of the departing airfield. It is usually in close proximity to the CESE equipment preparation area and the main supply area, where palletizing and mobile loading is done.
The alert holding area is where vehicles and passengers are held in the vicinity of the departing airfield. At this time control is passed to the DACG, and chalks are inspected to ensure everything manifested is actually present. When all manifested items have been confirmed, the DACG supervisor and representatives of the U.S. Air Force ALCE will direct the movement of assigned chalks to the call forward area. The call forward area is where the joint inspection of chalks by the ALCE team and the NCF representative takes place. After the complete chalk is inspected, it is moved to the ramp loading area when called for by the ALCE team.
A flight manifest must be prepared for each aircraft. It must include the name of the unit to be airlifted, the OIC, and the type of aircraft. The manifest should also have the number of the aircraft tail, mission, and passengers. It should have the total weight of any passengers, hand-carried and hold baggage, a description of cargo, weight and cube of cargo, and the total weight.Continue Reading