News: Multinational soldiers learn sling load operations
Story by Spc. Samantha Parks
CAMP NOVO SELO, Kosovo - Deployments often provide soldiers opportunities to learn new skills. Soldiers with Multinational Battle Group-East got the opportunity to learn one such new skill during sling load qualifications at Camp Novo Selo July 13.
"Today we did sling load training with the aircraft," said Moroccan Army 1st Lt. Youness Radiousse. "We had to load [equipment] and sling it on the aircraft."
The training was a culmination of classroom and hands on instruction taught over several days. U.S. Army 1st Lt. Kyle Harrell, a battle captain for the Forward Control Post, was the lead instructor for the training.
"Day one we did classroom [training] and it was all sling load information on how to inspect, how much weight can be used, etc.," Harrell said. "At the tail end of the day, we brought [the class] over to a clam shell and had four cargo nets rigged up. We let them play with the equipment, see how heavy it was, see what it actually felt like."
Harrell said most of the first day was focused on disseminating the information and PowerPoint presentations. The second day focused on hands on practice before the actual qualification.
"The second day we started in the clamshell and rigged all day," Harrell said. "Rig, de-rig, rotate. Then we put deficiencies in [the rigs] for them to inspect, so when they [practiced] inspecting them, they would find the deficiency and they were very good at it."
U.S. Army Pfc. Zachariah Hall said it was his first time conducting sling loads.
"It was a good experience," Hall said. "We got to help [the foreign nationals] learn a lot of stuff and we learned a lot of stuff as well."
French, Moroccan, Turkish and U.S soldiers all participated in the training.
Radiousse said training like this is very helpful and he really enjoyed working with the U.S.
"It gave us a lot of information and it was new for me because this was my first time doing training like this," Radiosse said. "I learned a lot of information like how to pick up and how to safely use the sling load equipment."
Radiousse added that he would like to do more training in the future and practice taking sling loads to an actual camp.
"There is practical application for this [training]," Harrell said. "During the winter when we can't drive vehicles to resupply camps, we will have to do it by sling load."
As far as any future training goes, Harrell said they are planning more.
"These guys want to do [sling load] Humvees," Harrell said.
Harrell said the training went smoothly and the experience of working with soldiers from many nations was terrific.
"There was a big learning curve for us as instructors teaching the [foreign nationals] because a lot of them don't speak English very well," Harrell said. "Everybody had a translator, but it was pretty remarkable to see how much they picked up on. It was a great time and a lot of fun."