GRAYLING, Mich. - As U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Nick Barth, a
loadmaster with the 169th Airlift Squadron, Peoria, Ill., prepares a
standard airdrop training bundle on a C-130 Hercules during Exercise
Northern Strike on Aug. 6, 2013, he reflects on what his dad told
him right before his deployment in support of Operation Enduring
"Whenever you are re-supplying troops in the field,
put a care package in the bundle that says 'for the JTAC only,'"
said Nick Barth quoting his father.
Nick Barth's father is
U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Chuck Barth, a joint terminal air
controller for more than 25 years with the 182nd Air Support
Operations Group, Peoria, Ill. Chuck Barth knows all about how
important those re-supply airdrop bundles are in the field. However,
to receive a personal package only for the JTAC is like gold, he
Image Left - U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Chuck L. Barth, a tactical
air control party specialist with the 182nd Air Support Operations
Group, speaks with a C-130 Hercules at Grayling Gunnery Range on a
deployment of a training bundle during Exercise Northern Strike 2013
in Grayling, Mich., Aug. 6, 2013 ... Image Right - U.S. Air Force
Senior Airman Nick J. Barth, an aircraft loadmaster with the 169th
Airlift Squadron, packs a training bundle on a C-130 Hercules at
Alpena, Mich., in support of Exercise Northern Strike 2013 on Aug.
7, 2013. Exercise Northern Strike 2013 is a joint multi-national
combined arms training exercise conducted in northern Michigan.
(U.S. Air National Guard photos by Master Sgt. Scott Thompson /
Combined by USA Patriotism!)
Nick Barth remembers dropping his father off at the
Greater Peoria Air National Guard Base for many different
deployments and wanted to follow along his family's
tradition of serving in the military. With advice from his
dad, Nick Barth decided three years ago to join the Air
What makes the basic airdrop
different is that Chuck Barth will be controlling the drop
that his son will be releasing. They have never had the
opportunity to work together until Northern Strike at
Grayling Air and Gunner Range, Alpena, Mich.
Barth finishes his checklist, he slides in a handwritten
note that he knows his father will receive when he collects
the deployed bundled.
During the control with the
C-130 at Grayling Gunnery Range, Chuck Barth knows he is not
directly speaking to his son, but knows he can relay a
message from the pilot.
"Hey Torch, tell the load in
number two hi," says Chuck Barth over the radio.
the bundle safely landing near the desired controlled spot,
Chuck Barth heads out to retrieve the bundle, and like
habit, checks for any "For JTAC only" packages.
the Northern Strike exercise continued, another opportunity
came up for the Barth's to work together: a distinguished
visitors day where Chuck Barth would be controlling aircraft
at the Grayling Gunnery Range. This time, Nick Barth, who
was scheduled for a down-day, took the opportunity to watch
his father in action so he could get the true understanding
of what a JTAC does.
Both Barth's might not have
another opportunity to work so closely together again, but
the memory is one that they can share together for a
By U.S. Air National Guard Master Sgt. Scott Thompson
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