ADAZI MILITARY BASE, Latvia – U.S. Soldiers from 10th Combat Aviation Brigade based out of Lielvarde provided a CH-47 Chinook and Black Hawk helicopter for hot / cold load training to approximately 100 U.K. British Royal Marines at helicopter pads June 2.
The training was preparation for an event during Saber Strike 17 that includes the quick uploading and offloading of personnel. Saber Strike is a U.S. Army Europe-led multinational combined forces training exercise in the Baltic region. The exercise tests the capability of multiple nations to act against a threat.
Cold load training is the practice of entering or exiting an aircraft while it is not operational. Hot load training is entering or exiting an aircraft while it is operational.
The purpose of the exercise was to support the Royal Marines in their training, said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Douglas Patterson, Black Hawk pilot and company safety officer with 3rd General Support Aviation Battalion, 10th Aviation Regiment, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, 10th Mountain Division (LI), Fort Drum.
Training began with familiarizing the British Royal Marines with simple aircraft features for emergency purposes.
The briefing transitioned to hands-on training, providing the Royal Marines with an opportunity to conduct passenger aircraft load procedures.
Within the CH-47, U.S. crew members flashed countdown hand signals to alert Royal Ma-rines of the approaching landing and the subsequent exit of the aircraft. For the exit, the Royal Marines maneuvered out of the aircraft, into defense positions to pull security for the departing aircraft.
Training for the Black Hawk and Chinook occurred simultaneously, with groups performing three iterations before rotating or concluding the cold load training.
Transitioning into hot load training, the 10th CAB crew flew to multiple locations, uploading and offloading personnel.
"They (training exercises) create a good discussion and a good battle rhythm and synchronization with our partners and allies," Patterson said.