Operators continue worldwide airlift support

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Emily Beightol-Deyerle

The 167th Operations Group logged 289 sorties in the Wing’s C-17 Globemas­ter aircraft during the final four months of 2017, keeping pace with the previous year’s operations tempo.

Aircrews stayed busy due to an active hurricane season and airlift requests from the Tanker Airlift Control Center, the agency responsible for directing mobil­ity aircraft in support of combat delivery and strategic airlift operations around the world.

TACC tapped the wing for worldwide missions in August after a portion of the U.S. Air Force’s C-5 aircraft fleet was temporarily grounded due to landing gear issues.

Initially one airplane and one crew from the 167th Airlift Wing were dedicated to fly TACC missions. Then, based on the opera­tions tempo, a second crew was added in October, according to Lt. Col. James Powell, the acting 167th Operations Group commander.

The 167th flew 113 TACC sorties, logging nearly 522 flight hours during the final four calendar months of 2017. Addi­tionally, 55 hurricane support sorties and 16 U.S. Southern Command support sorties were flown.

Crews logged 1006.3 hours of flight time, transporting 880 passengers and just over 1,628 tons of cargo from September through December last year.

The Wing currently has two aircraft, two aircrews and numerous maintenance and operations personnel dedicated to sup­porting the TACC missions.

“This is additive to the members deployed or deploying,” said Col. David Cochran, vice commander for the 167th AW. “This commitment of the wing illus­trates our readiness and capability to execute daily real world taskings.”

This wing has committed to the TACC missions through the end of March, but there is high probability that will continue well beyond then, according to Powell.

Most of the current requests from TACC are for contingency support and special assignment airlift missions. Powell said in April the Wing is scheduled to pick up an aeromedical evacuation rotation that will be in conjunction with the current missions.

“Rapid global mobility is a core com­petency for the United States Air Force, our wing stands ready and helps fulfill that responsibility for the nation,” Cochran said. “The Wing’s readiness is dependent on individual readiness. Every member should understand their value and their role in our wing’s success.”