JACKSONVILLE, Ark. (KTHV) - All this week, we're going "Behind the Gate" at the Little Rock Air Force Base.
On Monday, we introduced you to the C-130, the plane that calls the base home.
Now, you’re going to meet the people responsible for everything that goes in that aircraft. Those people are called loadmasters.
"My Airforce job is a C-130 Loadmaster," explained Tech Sergeant Lee Deaver. Deaver prepares a plane for flight, preflight inspections, configure it for the various missions it can do. And the C-130 do a variety of missions.
"One day you might be delivering parts to Iraq," said Master Sergeant Elias Carlon. "And the next day you might be taking 130 troops over to Afghanistan."
Whether it's parts of people, the Air Force loadmasters are responsible for what's in the back of the C-130. Deaver trains the loadmasters. "We're the largest international training unit," he said. He is one of two international military student officers. "Two people to do a very big job." Over the past year, Deaver has taught about 100 international students how to load the C-130, coordinating with up to 24 different countries. As a host, the airmen do more than just train the other soldiers.
"To share our culture with them," explained Deaver. "As military and the American way of life."
After training, the international students then head back to their home countries, to serve in their respective Air Force. The U.S. airmen who graduate here can head overseas or stay right here.
"Some of these students are starting here and finishing here," said Deaver. "Going down the street to another unit, changing patches and now they're doing it here.” Doing it here just like Sergeant Deaver. A lot of people may not know that Deaver is a big part of the community outside of the gates of the Air Force base.
"On base, I'm Sergeant, loadmaster, I go home and wear regular clothes," said Deaver. He wears gym clothes, perhaps. "After work a few nights a week, I teach at the gymnastics academy in Cabot," he explained. But, are his kids happy about it? "They're happy their daddy's the coach. They call me Coach Lee, my son gets a kick out of it as well," he said.
Sergeant Deaver's team also won the International Team of the Year last year, although he said he was a late add to that team. In Wednesday’s part three of Behind the Gate, we're introducing you to the Top Gun of the Air Force, where the best instructors come to get even better.