167th AW is flying through the C-17 conversion
By Staff Sgt. Jodie Witmer, 167AW/PA
/ Published August 05, 2015
MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- The 167th Airlift Wing in Martinsburg, W.Va. is flying and supporting missions around the globe during its conversion to the C-17 Globemaster III.
As of Aug. 2, the 167th AW has actively supported several National Guard units, banner missions in support of the President and is scheduled to start an Aero Medical rotation for 90 days.
Col. Richard Robichaud, the 167th AW operations group commander, said the 167th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron is scheduled to be flying with the 167th Airlift Squadron sometime during the rotation.
According to Captain Sam Harrison, a current operations officer at the 167th AW, the 167th will be rotating in and out of the area of responsibility (AOR) carrying patients during the Aero Medical rotation.
The 167th has participated in exercises with the North Carolina Army National Guard into the country of Moldova, the Pennsylvania Army National Guard to Lithuania, and the New Jersey Army National Guard to Bulgaria, Harrison said.
"To date we've executed 900 flight hours, 281 mission and training sorties, hauling 1020 tons of cargo and 1633 passengers in support of AMC (Air Mobility Command) and NGB (National Guard Bureau) taskings," he said.
Robichaud said the 167th received their eighth C-17 to complete the 167th's inventory on July 17.
"We are going to get busier," said Lt. Col. Marty Timko, the 167th airlift squadron commander.
The unit will continue to fly trips, real world missions, guard lifts and get people qualified on the new C-17 aircraft. It's been a team effort, Robichaud said.
"If you take a snapshot right now, pilot wise, 50 percent have been through training and are currently working on upgrade training. Twenty-five percent are still waiting to go to training and 25 percent is at training. At the pilot perspective we are half-way through [the conversion]," Timko said. "A third of the loadmasters have been through school, another third are at school and the other third is awaiting training."
"It's on track for what we were predicting before anyone left for training," said Timko.
Lt. Col. Chris Sigler, the chief of safety at the 167th AW, said the conversion is moving along quite well. The expectation for the future of the conversion is there will be a lot of flying and opportunities.