Responsible for the cargo, personnel and safety of the aircraft, the loadmaster backs up the pilot on everything behind the flight deck, contributing to the full-crew concept of flight operations and setting the stage for mission accomplishment. “While pilots fly the aircraft, the loadmasters fulfill the C-27s function as an air-mobility mover,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Chris Neufeld, a NATO C-27 loadmaster advisor. Because of the importance of loadmasters to mission success, Neufeld and other advisors work hard to develop the Afghan Air Force loadmaster corps at the Afghan Air Force Base here through classroom training and practical exercises. Beneficial as class-work and practice can be, Neufeld believes there is no greater training platform than performing the job of a loadmaster in a real-world scenario. “They are coming along great,” Neufeld said. “All of the responsibilities a C-27 loadmaster has is a lot to ask for from any professional. The progress and dedication of the Afghan airmen is incredible.” “We are learning how to be proper loadmasters to improve our career field and serve our country,” Khan said. “We are going to take what we learn and teach it to others who come after us. Right now, we are learning all that we can from our instructors so that in the future we can have Afghans teaching Afghans and help the Afghan Air Force become an independent force.” Gukbahar feels qualified loadmasters capable of bringing the C-27 to its full mission potential provide his country and its people with a sense of protection. “An army without a proper air force looks weak, and you need skilled professionals to make a proper air force. The air force not only helps project power, but also provides security to the people with its ability to reach anyone in the country and provide them with support,” he said.
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