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Desert Training for the 133rd Airlift Wing

A Low Cost Low Altitude bundle tumbles from the ramp of a 133rd Airlift Wing Minnesota Air National Guard C-130 Hercules Feb. 28, 2011.During the week of Feb. 28th, 2011 Airmen and the C-130 Hercules of the 133rd Airlift Wing, Minnesota Air National Guard deployed for training to Yuma Proving Ground, Yuma, Ariz.  During the week the 133rd AW practiced Low-Cost Low-Altitude airdrops this knowledge and experience will be directly applied during deployment to Afghanistan. The LCLA bundles are more accurate and use expendable parachutes weighing in at 80 to 500 pounds. LCLA is well suited for small units on patrol or in remote outposts where they don't have the equipment or manpower to deal with the larger container delivery system bundles. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Erik Gudmundson

A Low Cost Low Altitude bundle tumbles from the ramp of a 133rd Airlift Wing Minnesota Air National Guard C-130 Hercules Feb. 28, 2011.During the week of Feb. 28th, 2011 Airmen and the C-130 Hercules of the 133rd Airlift Wing, Minnesota Air National Guard deployed for training to Yuma Proving Ground, Yuma, Ariz. During the week the 133rd AW practiced Low-Cost Low-Altitude airdrops this knowledge and experience will be directly applied during deployment to Afghanistan. The LCLA bundles are more accurate and use expendable parachutes weighing in at 80 to 500 pounds. LCLA is well suited for small units on patrol or in remote outposts where they don't have the equipment or manpower to deal with the larger container delivery system bundles. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Erik Gudmundson

Unheard thirty five years ago when the 133rd Airlift Wing deployed to Yuma in Feb. 1976  women now occupy many of the same roles as men in the Air Force including the role of Loadmaster.  A all female group of Loadmasters marshals a truck from the cargo hold of a 133rd Airlift Wing, Minnesota Air National Guard C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft 27 Feb, 2011 Yuma Proving Ground Yuma, Ariz. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Erik Gudmundson

Unheard thirty five years ago when the 133rd Airlift Wing deployed to Yuma in Feb. 1976 women now occupy many of the same roles as men in the Air Force including the role of Loadmaster. A all female group of Loadmasters marshals a truck from the cargo hold of a 133rd Airlift Wing, Minnesota Air National Guard C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft 27 Feb, 2011 Yuma Proving Ground Yuma, Ariz. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Erik Gudmundson

A C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft from the 133rd Airlift Wing makes a low level approach just prior to a LCLA drop Feb. 28, 2011 at Yuma Proving Ground, Yuma, Ariz. During the week of Feb. 28th, 2011 Airmen and the C-130 Hercules of the 133rd Airlift Wing, Minnesota Air National Guard deployed for training to Yuma Proving Ground where they practiced Low-Cost Low-Altitude airdrops. This knowledge and experience will be directly applied during deployment to Afghanistan. The LCLA bundles are more accurate and use expendable parachutes weighing in at 80 to 500 pounds. LCLA is well suited for small units on patrol or in remote outposts where they don't have the equipment or manpower to deal with the larger container delivery system bundles. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Erik Gudmundson

A C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft from the 133rd Airlift Wing makes a low level approach just prior to a LCLA drop Feb. 28, 2011 at Yuma Proving Ground, Yuma, Ariz. During the week of Feb. 28th, 2011 Airmen and the C-130 Hercules of the 133rd Airlift Wing, Minnesota Air National Guard deployed for training to Yuma Proving Ground where they practiced Low-Cost Low-Altitude airdrops. This knowledge and experience will be directly applied during deployment to Afghanistan. The LCLA bundles are more accurate and use expendable parachutes weighing in at 80 to 500 pounds. LCLA is well suited for small units on patrol or in remote outposts where they don't have the equipment or manpower to deal with the larger container delivery system bundles. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Erik Gudmundson

Staff Sergeant Jordan Grigg a 133rd Airlift Wing Crew Chief checks the fuel status of a Minnesota Air National Guard C-130 Feb. 27, 2011 at Yuma Proving Ground, Yuma, Ariz. During the week of Feb. 28th, 2011 Airmen and the C-130 Hercules of the 133rd Airlift Wing, Minnesota Air National Guard deployed for training to Yuma Proving Ground where they practiced Low-Cost Low-Altitude airdrops. This knowledge and experience will be directly applied during deployment to Afghanistan. The LCLA bundles are more accurate and use expendable parachutes weighing in at 80 to 500 pounds. LCLA is well suited for small units on patrol or in remote outposts where they don't have the equipment or manpower to deal with the larger container delivery system bundles. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Erik Gudmundson

Staff Sergeant Jordan Grigg a 133rd Airlift Wing Crew Chief checks the fuel status of a Minnesota Air National Guard C-130 Feb. 27, 2011 at Yuma Proving Ground, Yuma, Ariz. During the week of Feb. 28th, 2011 Airmen and the C-130 Hercules of the 133rd Airlift Wing, Minnesota Air National Guard deployed for training to Yuma Proving Ground where they practiced Low-Cost Low-Altitude airdrops. This knowledge and experience will be directly applied during deployment to Afghanistan. The LCLA bundles are more accurate and use expendable parachutes weighing in at 80 to 500 pounds. LCLA is well suited for small units on patrol or in remote outposts where they don't have the equipment or manpower to deal with the larger container delivery system bundles. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Erik Gudmundson

A Low Cost Low Altitude bundle falls to the ground under a full parachute canopy after release from a 133rd Airlift Wing Minnesota Air National Guard C-130 Hercules Feb. 28, 2011. During the week of Feb. 28th, 2011 Airmen and the C-130 Hercules of the 133rd Airlift Wing, Minnesota Air National Guard deployed for training to Yuma Proving Ground, Yuma, Ariz.  During the week the 133rd AW practiced Low-Cost Low-Altitude airdrops this knowledge and experience will be directly applied during deployment to Afghanistan. The LCLA bundles are more accurate and use expendable parachutes weighing in at 80 to 500 pounds. LCLA is well suited for small units on patrol or in remote outposts where they don't have the equipment or manpower to deal with the larger container delivery system bundles. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Erik Gudmundson

A Low Cost Low Altitude bundle falls to the ground under a full parachute canopy after release from a 133rd Airlift Wing Minnesota Air National Guard C-130 Hercules Feb. 28, 2011. During the week of Feb. 28th, 2011 Airmen and the C-130 Hercules of the 133rd Airlift Wing, Minnesota Air National Guard deployed for training to Yuma Proving Ground, Yuma, Ariz. During the week the 133rd AW practiced Low-Cost Low-Altitude airdrops this knowledge and experience will be directly applied during deployment to Afghanistan. The LCLA bundles are more accurate and use expendable parachutes weighing in at 80 to 500 pounds. LCLA is well suited for small units on patrol or in remote outposts where they don't have the equipment or manpower to deal with the larger container delivery system bundles. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Erik Gudmundson

A Low Cost Low Altitude pratice load swings beneith a full parachute canopy in the blue skys of the California desert March 2, 2011 after falling from a 133rd Airlift Wing C-130 Hercules.During the week of February 28th, 2011 Airmen and the C-130 Hercules of the 133rd Airlift Wing, Minnesota Air National Guard deployed for training to Yuma Proving Ground, Yuma Arizona. During the week the 133rd AW practiced Low-Cost Low-Altitude airdrops this knowledge and experience will be directly applied during deployment to Afganistan. The LCLA bundles are more accurate and use expendable parachutes weighing in at 80 to 500 pounds. LCLA is well suited for small units on patrol or in remote outposts where they don't have the equipment or manpower to deal with the larger container delivery system bundles. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Erik Gudmundson

A Low Cost Low Altitude pratice load swings beneath a full parachute canopy in the blue skys of the California desert March 2, 2011 after falling from a 133rd Airlift Wing C-130 Hercules. During the week of February 28th, 2011 Airmen and the C-130 Hercules of the 133rd Airlift Wing, Minnesota Air National Guard deployed for training to Yuma Proving Ground, Yuma Ariz. During the week the 133rd AW practiced Low-Cost Low-Altitude airdrops this knowledge and experience will be directly applied during deployment to Afganistan. The LCLA bundles are more accurate and use expendable parachutes weighing in at 80 to 500 pounds. LCLA is well suited for small units on patrol or in remote outposts where they don't have the equipment or manpower to deal with the larger container delivery system bundles. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Erik Gudmundson

Staff Sergeant James Hubert 133rd Airlift Wing Drop Zone Recovery Team wraps up a low cost low altitude parachute shortly after it floated to the desert floor Mar. 2, 2011. During the week of Feb. 28th, 2011 Airmen and the C-130 Hercules of the 133rd Airlift Wing, Minnesota Air National Guard deployed for training to Yuma Proving Ground, Yuma, Ariz.  During the week the 133rd AW practiced Low-Cost Low-Altitude airdrops this knowledge and experience will be directly applied during deployment to Afghanistan. The LCLA bundles are more accurate and use expendable parachutes weighing in at 80 to 500 pounds. LCLA is well suited for small units on patrol or in remote outposts where they don't have the equipment or manpower to deal with the larger container delivery system bundles. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Erik Gudmundson

Staff Sergeant James Hubert 133rd Airlift Wing Drop Zone Recovery Team wraps up a low cost low altitude parachute shortly after it floated to the desert floor Mar. 2, 2011. During the week of Feb. 28th, 2011 Airmen and the C-130 Hercules of the 133rd Airlift Wing, Minnesota Air National Guard deployed for training to Yuma Proving Ground, Yuma, Ariz. During the week the 133rd AW practiced Low-Cost Low-Altitude airdrops this knowledge and experience will be directly applied during deployment to Afghanistan. The LCLA bundles are more accurate and use expendable parachutes weighing in at 80 to 500 pounds. LCLA is well suited for small units on patrol or in remote outposts where they don't have the equipment or manpower to deal with the larger container delivery system bundles. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Erik Gudmundson

Staff Sergeant Aaron Quarles 133rd Maintenance Group 133rd Airlift Wing Minnesota Air National Guard opens a engine housing of a   C-130 Hercules turbo prop engine after landing at Yuma Proving Ground, Yuma, Ariz.  Feb. 27th, 2011. During the week of Feb. 28th, 2011 Airmen and the C-130 Hercules of the 133rd Airlift Wing, Minnesota Air National Guard deployed for training to Yuma Proving Ground, Yuma Arizona. During the week the 133rd AW practiced Low-Cost Low-Altitude airdrops this knowledge and experience will be directly applied during deployment to Afghanistan. The LCLA bundles are more accurate and use expendable parachutes weighing in at 80 to 500 pounds. LCLA is well suited for small units on patrol or in remote outposts where they don't have the equipment or manpower to deal with the larger container delivery system bundles. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Erik Gudmundson

Staff Sergeant Aaron Quarles 133rd Maintenance Group 133rd Airlift Wing Minnesota Air National Guard opens a engine housing of a C-130 Hercules turbo prop engine after landing at Yuma Proving Ground, Yuma, Ariz. Feb. 27th, 2011. During the week of Feb. 28th, 2011 Airmen and the C-130 Hercules of the 133rd Airlift Wing, Minnesota Air National Guard deployed for training to Yuma Proving Ground, Yuma Arizona. During the week the 133rd AW practiced Low-Cost Low-Altitude airdrops this knowledge and experience will be directly applied during deployment to Afghanistan. The LCLA bundles are more accurate and use expendable parachutes weighing in at 80 to 500 pounds. LCLA is well suited for small units on patrol or in remote outposts where they don't have the equipment or manpower to deal with the larger container delivery system bundles. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Erik Gudmundson

Crew members and the aircraft of the 133rd await departure in the early morning sun on Mar. 4, 2011 at Yuma Proving Ground, Yuma, Ariz. During the week of Feb. 28th, 2011 Airmen and the C-130 Hercules of the 133rd Airlift Wing, Minnesota Air National Guard deployed for training to Yuma Proving Ground where they practiced Low-Cost Low-Altitude airdrops. This knowledge and experience will be directly applied during deployment to Afghanistan. The LCLA bundles are more accurate and use expendable parachutes weighing in at 80 to 500 pounds. LCLA is well suited for small units on patrol or in remote outposts where they don't have the equipment or manpower to deal with the larger container delivery system bundles. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Erik Gudmundson

Crew members and the aircraft of the 133rd await departure in the early morning sun on Mar. 4, 2011 at Yuma Proving Ground, Yuma, Ariz. During the week of Feb. 28th, 2011 Airmen and the C-130 Hercules of the 133rd Airlift Wing, Minnesota Air National Guard deployed for training to Yuma Proving Ground where they practiced Low-Cost Low-Altitude airdrops. This knowledge and experience will be directly applied during deployment to Afghanistan. The LCLA bundles are more accurate and use expendable parachutes weighing in at 80 to 500 pounds. LCLA is well suited for small units on patrol or in remote outposts where they don't have the equipment or manpower to deal with the larger container delivery system bundles. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Erik Gudmundson

Maj. Scot Wilcox, a 109th Airlift Squadron pilot, crunches numbers in the early morning sun on Mar. 4, 2011 at Yuma Proving Ground, Yuma, Ariz. During the week of Feb. 28th, 2011 Airmen and the C-130 Hercules of the 133rd Airlift Wing, Minnesota Air National Guard deployed for training to Yuma Proving Ground where they practiced Low-Cost Low-Altitude airdrops. This knowledge and experience will be directly applied during deployment to Afghanistan. The LCLA bundles are more accurate and use expendable parachutes weighing in at 80 to 500 pounds. LCLA is well suited for small units on patrol or in remote outposts where they don't have the equipment or manpower to deal with the larger container delivery system bundles. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Erik Gudmundson
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Maj. Scot Wilcox, a 109th Airlift Squadron pilot, crunches numbers in the early morning sun on Mar. 4, 2011 at Yuma Proving Ground, Yuma, Ariz. During the week of Feb. 28th, 2011 Airmen and the C-130 Hercules of the 133rd Airlift Wing, Minnesota Air National Guard deployed for training to Yuma Proving Ground where they practiced Low-Cost Low-Altitude airdrops. This knowledge and experience will be directly applied during deployment to Afghanistan. The LCLA bundles are more accurate and use expendable parachutes weighing in at 80 to 500 pounds. LCLA is well suited for small units on patrol or in remote outposts where they don't have the equipment or manpower to deal with the larger container delivery system bundles. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Erik Gudmundson

Yuma, Ariz. -- The 133rd Airlift Wing sought the clear skies and warm weather of Yuma, Ariz. in late February and early March, preparing for potential deployments. The C-130 "Hercules" cargo aircraft and Airmen flew in desert conditions, accomplishing required annual training missions while experiencing weather and terrain like Southwest Asia.

Eighty-five Airmen of the 133rd Airlift Wing's Operations Group, Maintenance Group and Small Air Terminal deployed for annual training to Yuma Proving Ground on Feb. 27, 2011, trading the snow and ice of Minnesota for five days in the sun in Arizona.

"We came here to support our next Air Expeditionary Force deployment," said Maj. Jeff Wong, mission commander of Yuma 2011. He said the conditions in Yuma with very little precipitation and low desert with mountains are ideal for the C-130s of the 109th Airlift Squadron. The squadron and support elements packed everything needed for the mission into four aircraft, including trucks to support drop zone operations and gator vehicles to support flight line operations. The operations were run out of trailers much like the field conditions during a combat deployment.

Yuma is home to the Military Free Fall School which appreciates air support from visiting units. The Minnesota crews provided about five lifts a day. "The beauty of Yuma is the military free fall school, which makes completing personnel drops that are required training for both loadmasters and navigators," according to Lt. Col. Andy Burda, 133rd Operations Support Flight commander . Getting this amount of training done in 5 days saves the 133rd Airlift Wing money and shortens the amount of time members are away from their civilian jobs.

"I can't thank Minnesota enough for coming out and helping with our instructor course. I had never had that many C-130s supporting us simultaneously!" said Alfonso Rocha of the Military Free Fall School operations.

"From a training perspective, taking 36 air crew members and flying 3 times a day for 3 days completes a major portion of their semi-annual training requirements. Air Crew members were able to complete Cargo Delivery Systems drops, Low Cost Low Altitude drops, personnel drops, and low level flying training." said Wong.
When the mission was complete and all airmen and aircraft had returned to Minnesota, Wong commented about the success of the mission: "Everyone did their job and made my job easy. We had 100% launch rate and not a single injury or illness."