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37th AS assists in international lift

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Patrick Cassidy, 37th Airlift Squadron loadmaster, peers out the back of a C-130J Super Hercules after air dropping more than 50 paratroopers over the skies of Germany, Nov. 30, 2016. The crew, stationed at Ramstein Air Base, assisted in International Jump Week by providing aircraft for the paratroopers to jump from. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jonathan Bass)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Patrick Cassidy, 37th Airlift Squadron loadmaster, peers out the back of a C-130J Super Hercules after air dropping more than 50 paratroopers over the skies of Germany, Nov. 30, 2016. The crew, stationed at Ramstein Air Base, assisted in International Jump Week by providing aircraft for the paratroopers to jump from. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jonathan Bass)

NATO service members load onto a C-130J Super Hercules at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Nov. 30, 2016. The most recent iteration of International Jump Week occurred Nov. 28-Dec. 2, and crews from the 37th Airlift Squadron assisted in the paratrooper’s mission by flying them to their drop zone. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jonathan Bass)

NATO service members load onto a C-130J Super Hercules at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Nov. 30, 2016. The most recent iteration of International Jump Week occurred Nov. 28-Dec. 2, and crews from the 37th Airlift Squadron assisted in the paratrooper’s mission by flying them to their drop zone. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jonathan Bass)

NATO service members wait to jump out of a C-130J Super Hercules assigned to the 37th Airlift Squadron over the skies of Germany, Nov. 30, 2016. As part of International Jump Week, Ramstein Air Base assisted by providing aircraft for the paratroopers to jump from. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jonathan Bass)

NATO service members wait to jump out of a C-130J Super Hercules assigned to the 37th Airlift Squadron over the skies of Germany, Nov. 30, 2016. As part of International Jump Week, Ramstein Air Base assisted by providing aircraft for the paratroopers to jump from. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jonathan Bass)

U.S. Air Force Maj. Corey Preston, 37th Airlift Squadron assistant director of operations, briefs his crew prior to flying as part of a two-ship mission to air drop NATO service members northeast of Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Nov. 30, 2016. Preston and his crew carried more than 50 jumpers in minus 6 degrees Celsius temperatures to the drop zone. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jonathan Bass)

U.S. Air Force Maj. Corey Preston, 37th Airlift Squadron assistant director of operations, briefs his crew prior to flying as part of a two-ship mission to air drop NATO service members northeast of Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Nov. 30, 2016. Preston and his crew carried more than 50 jumpers in minus 6 degrees Celsius temperatures to the drop zone. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jonathan Bass)

U.S. Air Force Capt. Peter Wolber, 37th Airlift Squadron co-pilot, conducts his pre-flight checklist before an air drop mission at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Nov. 30, 2016. Wolber flew as the co-pilot on the mission, where more than 50 NATO service members parachuted out of the C-130J Super Hercules. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jonathan Bass)

U.S. Air Force Capt. Peter Wolber, 37th Airlift Squadron co-pilot, conducts his pre-flight checklist before an air drop mission at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Nov. 30, 2016. Wolber flew as the co-pilot on the mission, where more than 50 NATO service members parachuted out of the C-130J Super Hercules. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jonathan Bass)

Rays of morning light shine into the belly of a C-130J Super Hercules at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Nov. 30, 2016. The aircraft and aircrew transported more than 50 NATO service members to a drop zone northeast of here as part of International Jump Week training. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jonathan Bass)

Rays of morning light shine into the belly of a C-130J Super Hercules at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Nov. 30, 2016. The aircraft and aircrew transported more than 50 NATO service members to a drop zone northeast of here as part of International Jump Week training. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jonathan Bass)

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany -- Clear skies and a cold breeze added to the atmosphere of the moment while two crews assigned to the 37th Airlift Squadron, here, assisted their passengers’ mission for the day: To jump out of a perfectly good C-130J Super Hercules.

November 28-Dec. 2, marked the most recent iteration of International Jump Week, an exercise held bi-annually with NATO allies. On Nov. 30, two Hercules de-iced on the Ramstein flightline, picked up more than 100 paratroopers, and flew them to their drop zone.

Part of the purpose of the exercise is to support the squadron’s ‘forward ready now’ mentality, said Senior Airman Patrick Cassidy, 37th AS loadmaster.

“The importance of a day like this is to demonstrate that we have the capability to go and be forward ready now,” said Cassidy. “Basically if the call comes in, we can go anywhere in the world and deploy our troops.”

While practicing and demonstrating the capabilities of both the C-130J and the Airmen who operate and maintain the aircraft is a large piece to the puzzle, it isn’t the only piece by any stretch of the imagination.

The mission also served as a training opportunity for some of the crew. The co-pilot, Capt. Peter Wolber, is new to the ‘J’ model of the aircraft. This meant that the aircraft commander, Maj. Corey Preston, 37th AS assistant director of operations, had the chance to guide his co-pilot through the mission.

“We had several instances arise that challenged us as a crew,” said Preston. “But with solid teamwork and communication we were to complete our mission. Our goal was to make sure the jumpers made their mark. Once we tackled the challenges, we were able to achieve our goal.”

Over the drop zone, a ‘no drop’ call had to be made because two civilian aircraft flew into the air space. Situations like this prepare air crews in a manner that normal training can’t.

“The aircraft weren’t on radios so we couldn’t relay a message to them,” said Preston. “But working with our crews we were able to keep our jumpers safe, while only extending the mission slightly, and ultimately succeed. Situations like this make us a better crew in the end.”

The minus 6 degrees Celsius weather couldn’t stop the Airmen of the 37th AS, neither could unforeseen complications from civilian aircraft. Clear skies and a cold breeze beckoned the crew to come and test their mettle. They passed. Mission accomplished.