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NEWS | Feb. 18, 2022

CH-47 crew, 89B students conduct sling-load training at Fort McCoy

By Scott Sturkol Fort McCoy Public Affairs Office

Students and staff with the 89B Ammunition Supply Course conducted sling-load training with a CH-47 Chinook crew at Sparta-Fort McCoy Airport on Feb. 7 at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin.

The Ammunition Supply Course (ASC), taught by Regional Training Site-Maintenance staff with the 94th Training Division at Fort McCoy, is a four-week course that provides training for Soldiers who are reclassifying to the 89B military occupational specialty, said course instructor Staff Sgt. Richard Huth. The sling-load training is one of the last major training events during the course.

According to the Army, a sling load is used to transport munitions to remote locations or to expedite shipments in hostile locations.

By Army definition, ammunition supply specialists are “Soldiers responsible for the management of ordnance to include ammunition and explosives.”

Soldiers who are 89B-qualified are tasked with receiving, storing and issuing conventional ammunition, guided missiles, large rockets, explosives and other ammunition and explosive-related items. During the two phases of the course, the students learn all of the entry-level basics about the course, Huth said.

The sling-load training is one of the last major training events during ASC.

“A sling load is used to transport munitions to remote locations or to expedite shipments in hostile locations,” said former course instructor Sgt. 1st Class Doug Dobitz. “Being able to accomplish this is a critical task for the students as they will be responsible for this task in the future; along with this is all the associated paperwork and shipping documents.

“The components to complete a sling load include proper weighing of the load to ensure the proper aircraft is used, equipment serviceability checks, rigging to the proper standards, completion of the hookup to the helicopter, and proper use of hand and arm signals,” Dobitz said. “Also, some higher-level tasks are discussed as value-added training, such as landing-zone site selection, hook-up team duties, safety considerations, and knowledge of hazards at landing zones.”

The CH-47 aircrew who supported the training was with the Army Reserve’s 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment of New Century, Kansas.

The CH-47 is the Army's only heavy-lift cargo helicopter supporting critical combat and non-combat operations, according to the Army fact sheet on the helicopter. The CH-47 has an empty weight of 24,578 pounds and a maximum gross weight of 50,000 pounds. The helicopter also can lift intra-theater payloads up to 16,000 pounds in high/hot environments.

Fort McCoy’s motto is to be the “Total Force Training Center.” Located in the heart of the upper Midwest, Fort McCoy is the only U.S. Army installation in Wisconsin.

The installation has provided support and facilities for the field and classroom training of more than 100,000 military personnel from all services nearly every year since 1984.

Learn more about Fort McCoy online at https://home.army.mil/mccoy, on the Defense Visual Information Distribution System at https://www.dvidshub.net/fmpao, on Facebook by searching “ftmccoy,” and on Twitter by searching “usagmccoy.”

Also try downloading the Digital Garrison app to your smartphone and set “Fort McCoy” or another installation as your preferred base.