Field training on C-130 continues Published June 10, 2008 By Staff Sgt. Rebecca Kenyon 107th Airlift Wing Niagara Falls, NY -- 107th aircraft maintenance personnel prepare for the 107th's new mission with continued on-site training. More than 200 personnel from the 107th AW are being trained on C-130 operations here, said Tech. Sgt. Tim Dodge, C-130 Conversion Team Chief, a C-130 crew chief instructor from Air Education Training Command, Hurlburt Field, Fla. "The mission has changed, the aircraft has changed from a KC-135 to a C-130," Dodge said. The sergeant said the 107th requested a comprehensive training plan to get all maintenance personnel in the unit trained on the differences between the aircraft and its unique systems. The training began May 1 and will continue through the end of August. June 5 was the first day of a three-day course on the C-130's cargo rail system. This course teaches 107th crew chiefs how to maintain, rig, and check the C-130's cargo rail system. Dodge said prior to flight; the plane utilizes the cargo rail system to lock the palletized cargo into place. He added that one of the new missions the 107th will soon have is delivering cargo. "This cargo rail system ensures it (cargo) stays in place and allows for safe operations for it (cargo) to be jettisoned out of the aircraft," said the sergeant. The cargo rail system course is one example of the many courses 107th members will attend depending on their Air Force Specialty Code and skill level. "We run them through all system classes on the airplanes," said Dodge. Dodge added there are basic, advanced and comprehensive courses given depending on specific work responsibilities. "We're offering over 45 different courses to give to those different AFSC's and the different level of training that each shop requires," said the sergeant. Senior Master Sgt. Thomas McGuire, 107th Maintenance Quality Assurance Inspector, attended an engine course on June 5. McGuire has also attended a transition course and a propeller course. McGuire emphasized the importance of the training by comparing the aircraft to cars. He said like cars, each aircraft is made different and runs different. "Right now all of our knowledge is based on the KC-135 so attending these classes will allow us to learn how these airplanes are put together so we know what to inspect or look for," said McGuire. Dodge said 29 Air Force instructors from various training detachments will be giving the conversion training. Last month 107th personnel attended 1456 training hours said Dodge. "At the end of August all AFSC's will have a mission cadre trained up in all areas to be able to maintain and sufficiently operate the C-130," Dodge said.