NEWS | May 17, 2021

The 36th Airlift Squadron Demonstrates Agile Combat Employment Capabilities during Samurai Readiness Inspection

By Airman 1st Class Tyrone Thomas 374th Airlift Wing

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- Aircrew from the 36th Airlift Squadron flew to Misawa and Kadena Air Bases, May 2, to perform Agile Combat Employment procedures, a crucial component of Yokota Air Base’s Samurai Readiness Inspection.

The SRI is an annual training exercise that evaluates Team Yokota on a series of simulated, practical wartime and contingency scenarios.

ACE procedures were designed to bring together interoperability between stations throughout Japan and demonstrate new methods of completing the mission in varied environments.

This inter-wing operation began by flying first to Misawa, retrieving and taxiing airmen and equipment to Kadena Air Base for joint training exercises. There, the 36th AS demonstrated the C-130J Super Hercules’ ability to utilize landing zones with harsh, island terrain. Misawa bookended the exercise by being an integral location that the 36th AS launched from en route to Kadena and returned to after training there.

“The C-130 is designed to land from as low as 3,000 feet and our landing zone training was intended for the most austere environments,” said Capt. Brianna Pauser, 36th Airlift Squadron C-130J pilot. “We land at the base of the runway while ground units at Ie Shima island coordinate with us to perform an integrated combat turn, [then] we fly off the way we came in.”

The 36th AS demonstrated various onloading and offloading methods by utilizing truck beds, forklifts and airmen with harnesses, all interchangeable based on the scenario and mission requirements.

“One of many methods that we’re demonstrating is a type of Combat Offload Method,” said Capt. Yanzhi Zhuo, 36th Airlift Squadron pilot. “It’s a method of unassisted cargo removal, without the need of heavy machinery or forklift.”

Another offloading method utilized oil barrels placed underneath the C-130 loading dock. As the aircraft drives forward on the flight-line, the cargo is released for Kadena airmen to catch it carefully atop the barrels. This scenario would occur if Yokota’s aircraft landed at Kadena, requiring quick on and off-load.

“It is important to map interoperability pathways so we can work together and become familiar with how operations work at other stations,” said Maj. Sarah Wofford, 36th Airlift Squadron instructor pilot. “Before we employed ACE concepts, we were focused more on providing support from our home station, it’s nice to see that we can start mapping those relationships and establishing a more robust way to move forward if it ever came down to supporting our sister stations throughout PACAF.”