By Sgt. James Geelen | 4th Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs Office, 4th Infantry Division
FORT CARSON, Colo. — Earlier this month the 4th Sustainment Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, hosted a sling load inspector certification course (SLICC) to help train Soldiers from the post. A mobile training team from the Aerial Delivery and Field Services Division at Fort Lee, Virginia, supported 54 personnel.
SLICC is a five-day course to train Soldiers in basic sling load operations, and ultimately to certify personnel from all services as sling-load inspectors.
“We train service members from every branch of the military on how to conduct proper sling load operations,” said Jeffrey V. Odom, SLICC instructor. “We teach them how to package the loads, weight limits of the carrying devices and the capabilities of the helicopters. We also teach them about their equipment (and) how to tell if it’s serviceable or not.”
Why is SLICC important and essential for the division?
“Deployments and missions in rugged, austere terrain (isolated outposts) often preclude the use of ground transportation as a means of resupply,” said Maj. Susan D. Fuchs, distribution integration branch chief, 4th SB, 4th Inf. Div. “It is imperative that 4th ID units have the capability to resupply via aerial delivery, and these newly certified inspectors will possess the knowledge, training and certification to make those missions happen.”
The students were also certified on low cost, low altitude aerial delivery systems (LCLA ADS).
“The LCLA resupply load is designed to resist impact, keeping contents intact from heights of 150-feet to 500-feet above ground level (AGL),” Odom said. “The system is an expendable type, one time use item, which is user friendly — easy to rig, transport and deliver.”
The SLICC course is a very difficult, detail-oriented training and testing.
“The students get four rotations through to inspect the sling load setups and learn what deficiencies look like,” said Lloyd Franklin, SLICC instructor. “Once they know what right looks like, the students will take a written exam and then perform hands-on inspections. They must score an 80% on the written test, without using notes in order to pass. Then they will inspect four different loads for deficiencies. They’re required to score 80% on each load to pass the class.”
The Soldiers must learn that safety is a priority of the course.
“We don’t let students use notes because they need … to memorize and learn the material for safety reasons,” Franklin said. “The smallest load a helicopter will lift is 500 pounds. If it’s not hooked up right, it will come crashing down. Whether it comes down on you, someone’s house or car, you don’t know. This is why we tell them safety first and make them study.”