FORT CARSON, Colo. — Soldiers with the 4th Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division conducted sling load training flights Tuesday at 2 p.m. at Butts Army Airfield.
Sling load operations provide the capability to move large equipment and cargo outside of the aircraft. This training will provide flight crews advantages in deployed environments. It will also prepare them to assist Defense Support Civil Authorities (DSCA) with operations across the Front Range area during local natural disasters.
“As the fox company commander, we’re the air traffic control company for the 4th combat aviation brigade,” Cpt. Harrison Green, Company Commander of F Co. 2-4 GSAB, said. “Our job is to be able to provide tactical air traffic services to the entire brigade. Essentially what we’re doing is rigging external loads so that the Blackhawk helicopters can come out here pick them up externally and move them wherever they need to go.”
Soldiers participated in several types of sling load training, including Bambi Bucket operations which are crucial during wildland fire suppression efforts like the October 2020 Wild Horse Fire.
“These same aircraft are the same ones that we use in the local area to help support the fighting fires and this training will help to increase the proficiency. This is a task that we don’t typically train it on a day-to-day basis so it’s a good opportunity for us to get out and do something a little different than our normal flight training,” Cpt. Green said.
The pilots and their crews will also practice flying over mountainous terrain with sling loaded equipment, which is more challenging because of the higher altitude.
“Our equipment is very specialized it’s for air traffic control so this is giving us the ability to move; no not a fixed base tower, but our tactical air traffic control systems up anywhere on the battlefield or anywhere here at home,” Cpt. Green said. “None of this would be possible without any of the soldiers that are out here I touched on it a little bit that or 15 Qs to 94 Delta some of our other soldiers there they’re just outstanding people to work with I definitely wouldn’t be able to do it myself Mr. Delk as the OIC out here, officer in charge, wouldn’t be able to do it himself. I think it just really shows how important putting people first in any operation that you do is really how you’re going to have her you gonna win at the end of the day.”