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Yokota Airmen share new cargo-rigging techniques at Cope West

by Capt. Raymond Geoffroy
374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

6/23/2011 - HALIM AIR BASE, Indonesia (AFNS) -- Airmen from Yokota Air Base, Japan, explained low-cost, low-altitude bundle rigging techniques to members of the Indonesian army and air force June 22 as a part of Exercise Cope West 11, at Halim Air Base, Indonesia.

The training seminar, one of several scheduled during the exercise, was designed to encourage information exchange between U.S. and Indonesian forces and to promote better interoperability for future combined missions.

"These classroom discussions are just as important to our success as our flying missions here at Cope West," said Major Jeffrey Smith, the director of operations for the Yokota AB Cope West det. "By interacting and engaging with each other, we're building better understanding of how our forces can work together."

The cargo-rigging lesson was entirely hands-on, with U.S. and Indonesian riggers working side-by-side to build an LCLA bundle, a newer type of pallet commonly used by U.S. forces to airdrop supplies quickly and efficiently.

As the combined team worked to build the bundle, Yokota AB Airmen said they were impressed by how quickly the Indonesian riggers adapted to the new rigging system.

"The Indonesians really know what they are doing," said Airman 1st Class Brandon Jenkins, a rigger with the 374th Logistics Readiness Squadron's Combat Mobility Flight. "They even took over a little bit while we were building the LCLA. They know their stuff."

"It's so interesting to see that they do the same things we do, with a few little differences here and there," he said. "But it's really awesome to get a different perspective on the same work we all do."

For the Indonesian riggers, this training was a unique opportunity to learn new techniques from the U.S. Airmen.

"Last year, (at Cope West) we didn't have this training, but now the U.S. Air Force gave us training about these types of parachutes," said Indonesian army 1st Lieutenant Adi Yanto. "We had a good training experience today. I hope, next time, we can do joint training again."

Overall, the Indonesians learned a new rigging process, Airmen gained greater insight into their fellow riggers' methods, and both sides helped strengthen the bond of partnership between the U.S. and Indonesia.

"It's important because we get to build the relationship with the Indonesians and also get to learn how they might do things," Airman Jenkins said. "It's a real eye opener that there isn't just one way to do one thing. There are multiple ways to get the job done," Airman Jenkins said. "It feels pretty good, and it's very rewarding."

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