Kentucky Air Guardsmen, Bangladesh Airmen switch seats during exercise Cope South 12

By 1st Lt Cammie Quinn, Cope South 2012 Public Affairs

KURMITOLA AIR BASE, Bangladesh — Flight engineers from the Kentucky Air National Guard and Bangladesh Air Force traded seats in a U.S. Air Force C-130H Hercules cockpit for a subject matter expert exchange here April 25 as part of exercise Cope South, a bilateral tactical airlift exercise conducted between the U.S. and Bangladesh air forces.

Flight engineers monitor aircraft engine systems, determine the performance of the aircraft and manage checklists during each flight.

“We are the engine-system experts for the aircraft,” explained Master Sgt. Mark Crane, a flight engineer from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Airlift Wing. ”We keep the checklists organized for quick reference during each flight mission.”

Master Sgt. Mark Crane (center), a flight engineer with the Kentucky Air National Guard's 123rd Airlift Wing, and Bangladesh Air Force Sgt. Mohammad Moniruzzaman (right), also a flight engineer, monitor C-130 aircraft conditions during a flight in support of exercise Cope South at Kurmitola Air Base, Bangladesh, April 25, 2012. Flight engineers monitor aircraft engine systems, determine the performance of the aircraft and manage checklists during each flight. Cope South 12 is a bilateral tactical airlift exercise conducted between the U.S. and Bangladesh air forces that ended April 26. (U.S. Air Force photo by 1st Lt Cammie Quinn)

Crane traded seats with a Bangladesh Air Force observer, flight engineer Sgt. Mohammad Moniruzzaman, during the April 25 flight so Moniruzzaman could gain a better understanding of the C-130H systems, equipment and checklists.

“I gave Sergeant Moniruzzaman the option to sit where I do to get the whole picture from the actual seat, rather than standing behind to watch as I work,” Crane said. “The hands-on interaction is important and allows our guests to become fully immersed in the process.”

The flight was the first training interaction Moniruzzaman has had with the U.S. Air Force and the C-130H model aircraft.

“It was interesting, and I enjoyed seeing the different models,” Moniruzzaman said. “It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

The Bangladesh Air Force flies a C-130B model, while the U.S. Air Force flies the C-130H and C-130J models. The airframes are similar but use different pressurization, engine and avionics systems.”The exercise allows us to provide first-hand experiences and demonstrate new capabilities with our Bengali counterparts,” Crane said. “The Airmen ask a lot of questions and are very knowledgeable about their own aircraft.”

Cope South participants also exchanged airlift, air-land and airdrop delivery techniques, and developed and expanded combined airlift capabilities with the Bangladesh Air Force to promote regional stability through relationship-building and unity of purpose.

Exercise Cope South began April 21 and ended April 26.

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