Sky High in the Army

Story and Photos by Sgt. Matthew C. Cooley
15th Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs

FORT HOOD, Texas — When Warrant Officer Werner Menchu, 15th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (expeditionary), airdrop systems technician, joined the Army as an enlisted Soldier 10 years ago, he wasn’t satisfied with the initial job offerings made to him.

“They gave me the option of being a tank driver, infantry, or an MP, but I wanted to do something exciting,” he exclaimed.

“I wanted to jump out of airplanes,” he said laughing.

“I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into when I became a rigger, but I’m glad I picked this field. There’s not one mission that’s ever the same as another.”

Menchu, a Weslaco, Texas, native, spent nine years as an enlisted parachute rigger before becoming an airdrop systems technician warrant officer.

“I wanted to actually make a difference in our field.”

Menchu saw a growing need in the Army for expertise in the aerial supply field, and decided that his experience could best be used as a warrant officer.

“When I got my orders and they said Fort Hood, I was excited to come down here and be a part of this sustainment brigade,” he said.

In February, Menchu and the 15th SB brought airborne operations back to Fort Hood including jumps, helicopter sling load operations, and the new precision Low Cost Low Altitude aerial re-supply system.

Menchu is the only AST currently on Fort Hood, and all aerial supply missions go through him.

Although Menchu enjoys his work, he also understands the seriousness of it.

“You’ve got [Soldier’s] lives in your hands and you want to make sure that they get home to their families.”

Menchu, who has 75 airborne jumps, said the most exciting thing his job allowed him to do was watch HALO (High Altitude-Low Opening) jumps, something he intends to one day earn his wings in.

Until then, he intends to focus on Fort Hood’s growing airborne operations

“I would like for everyone to know that Fort Hood is going to be the main aerial re-supply area…for Texas,” Menchu explained.

“I would like to be a part of it.”


Warrant Officer Werner Menchu
Warrant Officer Werner Menchu, 15th Sustainment Brigade's airdrop systems technician, supervises the largest airborne jump on Fort Hood in 10 years July 17, which he and his team coordinated. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Matthew C. Cooley, 15th Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs)