Saturday, October 16, 2010

Delivering Supplies to Phiblex '11 by air ..

CLARK AIR BASE, Philippines – Air delivery specialists assigned to Combat Logistics Regiment 35, 3d Marine Expeditionary Brigade loaded cargo onto C-130s, to be delivered in specific locations throughout the Republic of the Philippines here, Oct. 15.

The Marines assigned to CLR-35 worked in tandem with the loadmasters and crews of Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152, Marine Aircraft Group 36, 3d MEB, to deliver the goods to U.S. and Philippine Air Force personnel on the ground as part of Amphibious Landing Exercise 2011.

Phiblex '11 is a two-week bilateral training exercise between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and U.S. Marines and sailors from 3d Marine Expeditionary Brigade. The exercise is designed to improve interoperability, increase readiness and to foster professional relationships between the two countries.

The purpose of an air delivery is to get supplies, such as replacement tires for Humvees, food and other items, to service members in remote areas on the ground.

“When there's an inability of a convoy to reach a certain location, air deliveries are utilized,” said Gunnery Sgt. Tammy Belleville, the air delivery chief, CLR-35.

The mountainous terrain of the Philippines, along with it's wooded jungles allows for the Marines to better hone their skills with assistance from their counterparts of the Philippine Air Force.

“During cargo drops, they work with us to recover the cargo after the drop,” said Belleville of her Filipino counterparts.

While the Marines perfect the ability to make the perfect drop, PAF will tag along for training of their own.

“We also conduct bilateral training with the PAF through parachute missions and static line jumps,” said Belleville.

Many air delivery missions are conducted while flying in low elevation. Pilots are often navigating through the valleys and around the mountains during Phiblex '11. For the loadmasters, the location of the drop can change mid-flight.

“The most challenging aspect about the job is having to be flexible with the constant changes in mission requirements,” said Cpl. Robert C. Kugel, San Diego native and loadmaster with VMGR-152.

According to Sgt. Rosemary V. Cuppernell, Austin, Texas native and air delivery specialist with CLR-35, the most important aspect of her job during the exercise is always being ready to respond to real-world contingency operations.

“This is important because we are training for real world [operations],” said Cuppernell. “It could be in combat, or for humanitarian missions.”

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