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424 ABS Fire Department enables 37 AS training in Belgium

Photo of Airmen standing on aircraft wing

U.S. Airmen assigned to the 37th Airlift Squadron conduct familiarization training of a C-130J Super Hercules for 424th Air Base Squadron Emergency Response Flight Airmen at Chièvres Air Base, Belgium, July 27, 2020. The training gave the firefighters a chance to see where important components are located to better prepare them for a real world scenario. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Devin Boyer)

Photo of Air Force firefighter carrying hose

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Darian Terry, 424th Air Base Squadron Emergency Response Flight lead firefighter, pulls a hose up to a C-130J Super Hercules at Chièvres Air Base, Belgium, July 27, 2020. The 37th Airlift Squadron, Ramstein Air Base, Germany, provided aircraft familiarization training for the firefighters so they can better support the 37th AS in the event of an emergency. The firefighters practiced running dry-lines to the aircraft to build muscle memory for real-world scenarios. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Devin Boyer)

Photo of Air Force firefighter holding hose

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Delvontae Austin, 424th Air Base Squadron Emergency Response Flight driver and operator, pulls a hose up to a C-130J Super Hercules at Chièvres Air Base, Belgium, July 27, 2020. The 37th Airlift Squadron, Ramstein Air Base, Germany, provided aircraft familiarization training for the firefighters so they can better support the 37th AS in the event of an emergency. The 424th ABS firefighters’ support enables the 37th AS to utilize the landing zone at Chièvres, enhancing their training capabilities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Devin Boyer)

Photo of Airmen on top of aircraft

U.S. Airmen assigned to the 37th Airlift Squadron conduct a tour of a C-130J Super Hercules for 424th Air Base Squadron Emergency Response Flight Airmen at Chièvres Air Base, Belgium, July 27, 2020. The firefighters were shown access points on the roof of the aircraft so they could find alternative means of navigating the plane in the event of an emergency. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Devin Boyer)

Photo of Airman closing aircraft door

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Sean Montoya, 424th Air Base Squadron Emergency Response Flight driver and operator, practices opening a C-130J Super Hercules door at Chièvres Air Base, Belgium, July 27, 2020. The 37th Airlift Squadron, Ramstein Air Base, Germany, provided aircraft familiarization training for the firefighters so they can better support the 37th AS in the event of an emergency. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Devin Boyer)

Photo of Airman opening aircraft door

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Kyle Bennett, 37th Airlift Squadron loadmaster, Ramstein Air Base, Germany, conducts familiarization training of a C-130J Super Hercules for Airmen assigned to the 424th Air Base Squadron Emergency Response Flight at Chièvres Air Base, Belgium, July 27, 2020. The familiarization gives the firefighters eyes-on and hands-on training so they can better support in the event of an emergency. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Devin Boyer)

Photo of Airman in uniform posing for a photo

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Kendall Walters, 424th Air Base Squadron Emergency Response Flight assistant chief of health and safety, poses for a photo at Chièvres Air Base, Belgium, July 27, 2020. Walters and his Airmen support the 37th Airlift Squadron, Ramstein Air Base, Germany, when conducting sorties out of Chièvres’ landing zone. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Devin Boyer)

CHIÈVRES AIR BASE, Belgium -- Aircrew from the 37th Airlift Squadron, Ramstein Air Base, Germany, flew to Chièvres to familiarize the 424th Air Base Squadron Emergency Response Flight firefighters with the C-130J Super Hercules aircraft, July 27.

The familiarization gave firefighters the hands-on training they needed to safely respond in the event of an aircraft mishap, enabling the 37th AS to conduct vital training they can’t get otherwise in the air space over Germany.

“We don’t have many landing zones available to us,” said Capt. Jonathan Hansen, 37th AS pilot. “Landing on a large runway versus a small one comes with different challenges, and as a result, we come up here to Chièvres to train and get a little more familiarity with small landing zone operations.”

In order to stay sharp, pilots conduct flights on a regular basis to practice low altitude flying, runway approaches and maneuvers. However, the training would not be possible at Chièvres without the ground support.

“Because Chièvres is such a good playground for us to do our proficiency sorties, the fire department needs to be here in order to facilitate that training,” said Hansen. “Without them, we can’t come here.”

Loadmasters gave a walk-through of the aircraft to show the firefighters points of entry and key components of the aircraft they may interact with in an emergency.

“We have a lot of new personnel who have never been inside a C-130, let alone learned shutdown procedures and door operation procedures as required for us to make entry in the event that an aircraft is to have some sort of emergency,” said Tech. Sgt. Kendall Walters, 424th ABS Emergency Response Flight assistant chief of health and safety.

The walkthrough of the aircraft gave the firefighters a chance to see where important components are located to better prepare them for a real world scenario.

“If there’s going to be an emergency, it’s going to be smoky if there’s fire,” Walters said. “Having a muscle memory of where the switches and throttles are for shutdown, it really comes like second nature, and if you don’t have the ability to do that on a live aircraft, then you lose that muscle memory.”

By providing ground support in Belgium, the 37th AS can utilize Chièvres’ landing zone to enhance their training capabilities.

“I really think by us being able to support and keep their mission going, it allows the Air Force to train better,” Walters said. “At the end of the day, it’s all about the mission.”