37 Airlift Squadron Airman leader among peers

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Bryce James, 37th Airlift Squadron loadmaster, watches as an airborne troop jumps out of a C-130J Super Hercules aircraft at Ramstein Air Base, Feb. 18. The 37th AS provided airlift for the jumpers in support of their training. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kirby Turbak)

A loadmaster assigned to the 37th Airlift Squadron was recognized as Airlifter of the Week for his outstanding work directing personnel and cargo airlift operations at Ramstein Air Base, Feb. 18.

Airman 1st Class Bryce J. James directed multiple loading operations and passenger movements, and conducted airdrop operations in support of the 37th AS $54 million flying hour program.

“A1C Bryce is a leader among his peers,” said Tech. Sgt. Dustin Franks, 37th AS B flight chief. “His positive attitude and work ethic doesn’t go unnoticed among his crew and leadership.”

During a two-week resupply mission throughout the Sahel region of Africa, James led 13 load teams from multinational bases.

“James airlifted 707 troops and 102,000 pounds of equipment, supporting French counter-insurgency operations,” Franks said.

The U.S. Air Force 86th Airlift Wing Command Chief Master Sgt. Hope Skibitsky coins Airman 1st Class Bryce James, 37th Airlift Squadron loadmaster, at Ramstein Air Base, Feb. 18,. James was coined for being Airlifter of the Week, a program highlighting outstanding Airmen at and attached to Ramstein. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kirby Turbak)

In August 2020, James also executed a flying training deployment to Bulgaria, where he accomplished eight personnel airdrops and aided 423 bilateral training objectives with the partner nation.

“The training put James’ technical knowledge and loadmaster abilities to the test,” Franks said. “His ability to complete the mission with precision, efficiency and a positive attitude earned him recognition as the exercise ‘Top Performer.’”

When James isn’t on a C-130J Super Hercules aircraft, he serves in his squadron’s tactics office, where he reviews and catalogues airfield suitability requirements across Europe.

“James maintains our aircraft toolkit program within the tactics office, ensuring our squadron’s loadmasters are equipped with the right tools to complete the mission successfully,” Franks said. “This is important because the 37th AS is (U.S. Air Forces in Europe’s) sole tactical airlift unit for (Agile Combat Employment) operations.”

Outside his work life, James, a Lake Tahoe, Nevada, native, enjoys snowboarding, hiking, football and baseball.

“He’s a team player, and you can see he brings that attribute to the job,” Franks said. “He works well with his flight crew and other squadron members.”

Loadmasters are an integral part of the 37th AS mission set, providing personnel and cargo airlift capabilities, including rapid response aeromedical evacuation missions throughout the U.S. Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa areas of responsibility.

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Bryce James, 37th Airlift Squadron loadmaster, pulls static lines after a personnel drop over Ramstein Air Base, Feb. 18. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kirby Turbak)

“He is eager to help and always the first to volunteer, whether it’s for a squadron event or a mission,” Franks said. “He’s a solid performer both in the aircraft and in the office, and a key member of the 37th AS ‘Blue Tail Flies.’”