Posts Tagged ‘Charleston’

Charleston Airlifters Deploy

January 7, 2009
Aviation Calendar 2009

Aviation Calendar 2009

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More than 140 Airmen from the 16th Airlift Squadron and the 437th Operations Support Squadron deployed to Southwest Asia from Charleston AFB Dec. 29 as part of Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom.

For this deployment, the entire squadron is deploying to a single base where they will fly and manage missions in and out of Iraq and Afghanistan. The 16 AS will take control of the 816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron from the 15th Airlift Squadron based out of Charleston AFB, who will be returning home next month.

“I am excited,” said Maj. Todd McCoy, 437th Operations Group assistant director of operations. “We have trained for almost a year and are now ready to go out and do the mission.”

The 16 AS will be transporting service members and supplies in and out of Iraq and Afghanistan. They will also fly aeromedical evacuation missions.

This deployment marks the eighth time an entire C-17 squadron will deploy for an operation.

For some Airmen, this will be their first time deploying and leaving loved ones behind. Over the past ninety days they had a pre-deployment checklist to complete and a cluster of classes to take in order to prepare for their deployment.

“I feel well prepared,” said Airman 1st Class Thomas Farmer, 437th Operations Support Squadron. “The classes package the information really well.”
Positive reinforcement throughout the squadron has brought high morale to Airmen getting ready to deploy.

“It is almost overwhelming how supportive people have been from the First Sergeant to the spouses,” said Airman Farmer. “Now we can all get on that plane together and do our job.”

Ian Hochlaender

Charleston AFB: Gateway to the World

November 30, 2008

The C-17 Globemaster III guarantees America’s global military and humanitarian reach. Charleston Air Force Base, S.C., home to the US Air Force’s first C-17 wing, is America’s gateway to the world.

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The 437th Airlift Wing, together with our Reserve associate wing, the 315th Airlift Wing, provides a large part of Air Mobility Command’s Global Reach airlift capability. This rapid, flexible and responsive air mobility promotes stability in regions by keeping America’s capability and character highly visible.

The mission of the 437 AW is to command assigned airlift and supporting units; provide for the airlift of troops and passengers, military equipment, cargo and aeromedical airlift and to participate in operations involving the airland or airdrop of troops, equipment and supplies when required.

Apart from its heavy airdrop commitment and a demanding humanitarian mission, Charleston AFB’s mission requirements range from supporting U.S. Embassies to supplying humanitarian airlift relief to victims of disasters, to airdropping troops into the heart of contingency operations in hostile areas.

Team Charleston’s vision is to provide the premier airlift force for America from the world’s premier base One Family! One Mission! One Fight!

Charleston AFB has 7,509 active duty and Air Reserve Component military and civilian personnel. They include approximately 3,964 active duty, 2,524 reservists, and 1,021 civilians. About 14,079 military retirees make their home in the Charleston area.

Economic impact
Charleston AFB’s economic impact on the local communities in fiscal year 2005 was more than $740.5 million. The FY 05 payroll was $261.8 million and approximately 2,781 indirect jobs were created by the base in FY 05. The estimated annual dollar value of new jobs is $94.8 million. In FY 05, Air Force reservists assigned to the 315th AW spent nearly $1.3 million on hotels near the base. The base spent $280.3 million dollars on jet fuel in FY 05, making it the base’s costliest expense.

Charleston is home to 50 C-17 Globemaster III aircraft. The cost per jet is approximately $202.3 million. The cost of the fleet is $10.3 billion. The cost to fly a C-17 is $7,975/hour. A C-17 crew consists of pilot, co-pilot, and loadmaster. The C-17 has a cruise speed of approximately 500 miles per hour at 28,000 feet (Mach .74). It also has a global range with in-flight refueling. Its maximum load is about 170,000 pounds, and it can fit two large buses, three helicopters, one of the Army’s newest tanks or other outsized cargo. In addition it features heads-up display, can airdrop both cargo and 102 paratroopers, and is able to land on small, austere airfields landing in as short as 3,000 feet.

Base facilities
Charleston AFB has 1,010 buildings, totaling 4,873,962 square feet. There are presently 716 housing units on base for officer and enlisted personnel and their families, with a projected decrease to 476 by FY 15. There are six dormitories, with 545 bed spaces, for un-accompanied noncommissioned officers and airmen. Temporary lodging facilities have 205 rooms, to include visiting quarters and aircrew alert facilities. The buildings and real property on Charleston AFB are valued at $479 million and the land is valued at $2.1 million.

Base facts
Charleston AFB is a joint-use airfield, sharing two intersecting runways with Charleston International Airport. The primary runway is 9,001 feet long and the intersecting runway is 7,000 feet long. The base maintains the two runways and most of the taxiways, and security and crash rescue response for all flights.

Charleston AFB was the first fully operational C-17 base in the Air Force. The base is constantly involved in the Denton Amendment program flying humanitarian aid on available missions to worldwide destinations in more than eleven countries.

Charleston AFB either prepared or moved 80 percent of the cargo for the Denton program. Charleston has seven 60-K Tunner loaders that can easily transport and load heavy, palletized cargo on all aircraft. Additionally, Charleston AFB has more than 6,700 computers and 643 government owned vehicles.

The 437th Airlift Wing is comprised of four operational groups:

· 437th Operations Group distinguishes itself by projection of America’s global reach through direct delivery, airdrop and air refueling.

· 437th Maintenance Group dedicated to performing organizational and intermediate-level maintenance on all assigned C-17 aircraft; also provides total logistics support for the wing.

· 437th Mission Support Group provides morale, welfare, security, housing, lodging, engineering, communications, food services, disaster preparedness, and much more base support for 61 organizations.

· 437th Medical Group supports combat readiness through training quality-managed health care for area beneficiaries.

· 437th Airlift Wing Staff includes a variety of agencies that directly support the wing commander, group commanders and the base population.

· Four tenant units also share the base; 315th Airlift Wing (Air Reserve Command); 1st Combat Camera Squadron; Air Force Office of Special Investigation; and 373rd Training Squadron, Air Education Training Command

1931 An airfield and flying service were established at Charleston’s airport
1941 The Army Air Corps took control of the airfield to establish a defense for the eastern coast of the U.S. for World War II
1942 The first flights, consisting of anti-submarine missions, took off from Charleston Army Air Field
1943 The 437th Troop Carrier Group was activated at Baer Field, Indiana
1945 The 437TCG was inactivated after its participation in the Battle of the Bulge
1946 Military operations at the airfield closed
1949 The 437th was reactivated into the Reserves
1952 Charleston and the Air Force agreed to establish a Troop carrier base and allow joint use of the runways. The 456th Troop Carrier Wing became the host unit under Tactical Air Command
1956 The base was transferred to the command of Military Air Transport Service. The 1608th Air Transport Wing became the host unit
1966 MATS became Military Airlift Command and the 1608th was discontinued. The 437th Military Airlift Wing was reactivated and assigned to Charleston AFB. All the equipment from the 1608th was reassigned to the 437th
1991 The 437th MAW was redesigned as the 437th Airlift Wing when Military Airlift Command became Air Mobility Command
1993 In June, the 17th Airlift Squadron became the first operational squadron in the Air Force to convert to the C-17A Globemaster III
2000 The 16th Airlift Squadron deactivated July 15, marking the end of 35 years of C-141’s here. At one time, Charleston had 58 C-141’s assigned
2001 Flew first night combat/humanitarian coalition mission into Afghanistan
2002 16th Airlift Squadron reactivated as fourth operational C-17 unit July 26
2003 First-ever airdrop of troops into a combat zone from a C-17–combat air and land insertion of the 173rd Airborne Brigade into Northern Iraq. Sixty-two missions were flown with more than 2,000 passengers, more than 3,000 tons of cargo, more than 400 vehicles and with 100 percent mission reliability
2004 The wing’s C-17s delivered the personnel and outsized equipment need to construct Forward Operating Base Carlson in Afghanistan, conducting AMC’s first C-17 low altitude airdrop during contingency operations. Later that year the wing landed the first C-17 aircraft on that 90-foot-wide dirt strip at FOB Carlson, validating the C-17’s ability to operate in a high altitude, mountainous environment.
2005 The 437th Airlift Wing flew 40 missions in support of Hurricane Katrina, airlifting 1,736 patients/evacuees, 1,217 passengers/relief workers, and 1,541 tons of cargo to and from locations such as New Orleans and Keesler AFB, Miss.

B-17 (1943-1945)
B-24 (1943-1945)
C-47 (1944-1958)
C-45 (1944-1958)
C-119 (1953-1955)
C-54 (1954-1958)
C-121 (1955-1963)
C-124 (1958-1969)
C-130 (1962-1967)
C-141 (1965-2000)
C-5 (1970-1973)
C-17 (1993-Present)

Data courtesy USAF

C-17 Smoke Angel

November 30, 2008

A US Air Force C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft from Charleston Air Force Base creates a Smoke Angel through the turbulence of its vortex.

November 24, 2008

A Charleston Air Force Base C-17 Globemaster III soars over the Arthur Ravenel Bridge in Charleston, South Carolina.

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Team Charleston received the first of 10 C-17s during a ceremony on the flightline at Charleston AFB (SC) Nov. 18.

The P-180 is the first new aircraft Charleston AFB has received since 2003 and brings the total number of C-17s assigned to 51.

“Today we start a new page in the C-17’s history book here at Charleston AFB,” said Col. John “Red” Millander, 437th Airlift Wing commander. “The arrival of aircraft 77180 marks the first of a series of 10 new C-17s. The name and the mission has not changed; the capability has. This new … aircraft boasts technologies and abilities that did not exist when I witnessed the first C-17 arrival to Charleston in 1993.”

This new C-17 is different from the rest on the Charleston AFB flightline because it has new technology and capabilities. There are new secure satellite communication systems, avionics, combat lighting and night vision goggles that allow flying, loading and unloading in the dark.

“The important thing about the new technology is that it will keep our crews safer,” said Colonel Millander.

Brig. Gen. Bradley Pray, deputy director of Air Mobility Command’s Air, Space and Information Operations, delivered the P-180 on time after an approximate five-hour flight from its production sight in Long Beach, Calif. However, he did it with the help of Charleston AFB’s own flying crew chiefs and pilots and loadmasters from the 16th Airlift Squadron.

“I felt honored to be part of the crew that brought home the new C-17,” said Airman 1st Class Kylor Eutsler, 16 AS loadmaster. “I’ve only been part of the squadron since April so it’s great that I had an opportunity to do something like this. I definitely hope to fly missions on it in the future.”

Charleston AFB received their first C-17 June 14, 1993. Since then, Team Charleston has been part of C-17 missions supporting humanitarian relief efforts such as Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, delivering freedom for American hostages in Colombia and operations such as Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom. Last year, Charleston C-17 crews performed nearly 16,000 sorties on more than 5,000 missions. They also delivered 206 million pound of cargo and 142,000 people in support of missions around the world.

“People put the life in lift and it takes a team effort to produce winning results,” said Colonel Millander. “Team Charleston is stronger than ever … everyone continues and everyone is vital. No one should measure their worth by how close they work to a C-17 flight deck. We need every Team Charleston member working together to accomplish the mission.”

Melissa White

Charleston AFB Vital in MRAP Deployments to Combat Zones

October 31, 2008

A United States Air Force C-17 Globemaster III airlifter banks above the Arthur Ravenel Bridge over the Cooper River in Charleston, South Carolina. The C-17 is assigned to Charleston Air Force Base. Find this beautiful image as a poster, framed print, or 2009 calendar at The PatriArt Gallery.

Charleston Air Force Base officials began shipping M1117 armored security vehicles for the Army on board C-17 Globemaster IIIs Oct. 24 here.

Charleston AFB members received 82 ASVs in October and will continue shipping the vehicle as part of a surge to supply the increased manpower of the Army military police corps supporting peacekeeping operations. 

The ASV is an armored, four-wheel-drive vehicle that provides ballistic protection to warfighters who are using them against various threats and is designed to provide them security and safety required in the area of responsibility. 

“The ASV is a one-of-a-kind vehicle,” said Robert St. George, Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command Material Fielding Team ASV fielding site manager. “The Army has been using these vehicles for a few years now and other Air Force bases have helped ship them all over the world.”

The vehicle also has a turret which can traverse 360 degrees and includes an armament system designed to meet the security mission requirements of the Soldiers. The ASV is equipped with all-wheel independent suspension which provides forces mobility, agility and handling.

“A lot of guys I talked to went through a few … improvised explosive devices and .50 caliber rounds and did very well with (the ASV) and of course there’s damage, but the cargo is safe. So the main objective of this vehicle is the cargo. We can replace the vehicle but we can’t replace the cargo — the main objective is to keep the troops safe inside,” said Craig Louque, Textron Marine and Land Systems field service representative for the manufacturers. 

“This is the first load we’re sending out, so we’ve prepared them to be loaded up and shipped out,” said Senior Airman Ashley Kelly, a 437th APS aerial port expeditor. “My favorite part about getting vehicles like this ready is being able to drive them. I love driving them because how many people can honestly say they’ve driven an up-armored vehicle?”
Melissa White (AFNS)

C-17 Globemaster III

September 20, 2008
C-17 Globemaster III

C-17 Globemaster III

Find the C-17 Globemaster III tee-shirt or browse our collection of C-17 Globemaster III souvenirs at The Military Chest.
Or visit The PatriArt Gallery and choose the C-17 Globemaster III  poster, framed art print, 12-month calendar, or greeting card set.

The C-17 Globemaster III is the newest, most flexible cargo aircraft to enter the airlift force. The C-17 is capable of rapid strategic delivery of troops and all types of cargo to main operating bases or directly to forward bases in the deployment area. The aircraft can perform tactical airlift and airdrop missions and can also transport litters and ambulatory patients during aeromedical evacuations when required. The inherent flexibility and performance of the C-17 force improve the ability of the total airlift system to fulfill the worldwide air mobility requirements of the United States.

The ultimate measure of airlift effectiveness is the ability to rapidly project and sustain an effective combat force close to a potential battle area. Threats to U.S. interests have changed in recent years, and the size and weight of U.S.-mechanized firepower and equipment have grown in response to improved capabilities of potential adversaries. This trend has significantly increased air mobility requirements, particularly in the area of large or heavy outsize cargo. As a result, newer and more flexible airlift aircraft are needed to meet potential armed contingencies, peacekeeping or humanitarian missions worldwide. The C-17 is capable of meeting today’s demanding airlift missions.

Reliability and maintainability are two outstanding benefits of the C-17 system. Current operational requirements impose demanding reliability and maintainability. These requirements include an aircraft mission completion success probability rate of 92 percent, only 20 aircraft maintenance man-hours per flying hour, and full and partial mission availability rates of 74.7 and 82.5 percent, respectively. The Boeing warranty assures these figures will be met.

The C-17 measures 174 feet long (53 meters) with a wingspan of 169 feet, 10 inches (51.75 meters). The aircraft is powered by four, fully reversible, Federal Aviation Administration-certified F117-PW-100 engines (the military designation for the commercial Pratt & Whitney PW2040), currently used on the Boeing 757. Each engine is rated at 40,440 pounds of thrust. The thrust reversers direct the flow of air upward and forward to avoid ingestion of dust and debris. Maximum use has been made of off-the-shelf and commercial equipment, including Air Force-standardized avionics.

The aircraft is operated by a crew of three (pilot, copilot and loadmaster), reducing manpower requirements, risk exposure and long-term operating costs. Cargo is loaded onto the C-17 through a large aft door that accommodates military vehicles and palletized cargo. The C-17 can carry virtually all of the Army’s air-transportable equipment.

Maximum payload capacity of the C-17 is 170,900 pounds (77,519 kilograms), and its maximum gross takeoff weight is 585,000 pounds (265,352 kilograms). With a payload of 169,000 pounds (76,657 kilograms) and an initial cruise altitude of 28,000 feet (8,534 meters),  the C-17 has an unrefueled range of approximately 2,400 nautical miles. Its cruise speed is approximately 450 knots (.76 Mach). The C-17 is designed to airdrop 102 paratroopers and equipment.

The design of the aircraft allows it to operate through small, austere airfields. The C-17 can take off and land on runways as short as 3,500 feet (1,064 meters) and only 90 feet wide (27.4 meters). Even on such narrow runways, the C-17 can turn around using a three-point star turn and its backing capability.

The C-17 made its maiden flight on Sept. 15, 1991, and the first production model was delivered to Charleston Air Force Base, S.C., June 14, 1993. The first squadron of C-17s, the 17th Airlift Squadron, was declared operationally ready Jan. 17, 1995. The Air Force originally programmed to buy a total of 120 C-17s, with the last one being delivered in November 2004. Current budget plans involve purchasing 205 aircraft. 

The original 120 C-17s were based at Charleston AFB; McChord AFB, Wash., (first aircraft arrived in July 1999); Altus AFB, Okla.; and at an Air National Guard unit in Jackson, Miss. In August 2005, March Air Reserve Base, Calif., began basing the first of eight aircraft. In February 2006, Hickam AFB, Hawaii, received its first C-17.

The C-17 is operated by the Air Mobility Command at the 60th Airlift Wing and the 349th Air Mobility Wing (Associate Reserve) at Travis AFB, Calif.; 62nd Airlift Wing and 446th Airlift Wing (Associate Reserve) at McChord AFB, Wash.; 437th Airlift Wing and 315th Airlift Wing (Associate Reserve) at Charleston AFB, S.C.;  the 305th Air Mobility Wing, McGuire AFB, N.J.;  and the 172nd Airlift Wing, Mississippi ANG. Additionally, Air Force Materiel Command operates two C-17s at Edwards AFB, Calif., and Pacific Air Forces operates eight aircraft  each at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska and Hickam AFB, Hawaii (Associate Guard). The Air Force Reserve Command operates eight aircraft at March Air Reserve Base, Calif; and Air Education and Training Command has 12 aircraft at Altus AFB, Okla.

General Characteristics
Primary Function: Cargo and troop transport
Prime Contractor: Boeing Company
Power Plant: Four Pratt & Whitney F117-PW-100 turbofan engines
Thrust: 40,440 pounds, each engine
Wingspan: 169 feet 10 inches (to winglet tips) (51.75 meters)
Length: 174 feet (53 meters)
Height: 55 feet 1 inch (16.79 meters)
Cargo Compartment: length, 88 feet (26.82 meters); width, 18 feet (5.48 meters); height, 12 feet 4 inches (3.76 meters)
Speed: 450 knots at 28,000 feet (8,534 meters) (Mach .76)
Service Ceiling: 45,000 feet at cruising speed (13,716 meters)
Range: Global with in-flight refueling
Crew: Three (two pilots and one loadmaster)
Aeromedical Evacuation Crew: A basic crew of five (two flight nurses and three medical technicians) is added for aeromedical evacuation missions.  Medical crew may be altered as required by the needs of patients
Maximum Peacetime Takeoff Weight: 585,000 pounds (265,352 kilograms)
Load: 102 troops/paratroops; 36 litter and 54 ambulatory patients and attendants; 170,900 pounds (77,519 kilograms) of cargo (18 pallet positions)
Unit Cost: Unit Cost: $202.3 million (fiscal 1998 constant dollars)
Date Deployed: June 1993
Inventory:  Active duty, 158; Air National Guard, 8; Air Force Reserve, 8

Data courtesy USAF

Pelicans Roost — Charleston Airmen Return Home from Iraq

September 10, 2008
C-17 Globemaster III

C-17 Globemaster III

The C-17 Globemaster III guarantees America’s global military and humanitarian reach. Charleston Air Force Base, S.C., home to the US Air Force’s first C-17 wing, is America’s gateway to the world. Find this same C-17 on a poster, framed print, or 12-month calendar at The PatriArt Gallery.



More than 125 Airmen from the 14th Airlift Squadron returned home Sept. 3 after being deployed more than four months to Southwest Asia supporting Operation’s Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

While deployed, the 14th AS “Pelicans” flew more than three thousand missions with nearly four thousand hours of flying time. They moved more than 108 million pounds of cargo and airlifted more than 70 thousand passengers.

The 14th AS also completed 25 successful airdrop missions over 41 drop zones totaling more than one million pounds of ammunition, food and water U.S. and Coalition troops in need of supplies.

Additionally, Pelican crews transported more than a thousand Georgians and moved more than 130,000 pounds of cargo to Tbilisi in assistance to the Republic of Georgia for their recent crisis.

Capt. Steven Brown, a pilot from the 14th AS said it was fulfilling to employ all his pilot training by flying combat missions, especially since this was his first deployment.

“At the end of the day I really had a sense of accomplishment knowing our C-17s were bringing essential supplies to the front lines and helping the troops on the ground,” said Captain Brown. “It was tough to be away from loved ones for four months, but the sense of pride I had after delivering food, water or ammo to the war or evacuating injured soldiers made it easier.”

Airman 1st Class Thomas Benson, an intelligence analyst assigned to the 816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron, said that this deployment provided him valuable experience. 

“The 14th Airlift Squadron has so much experience and personality that it would have been impossible to have walked away without a better understanding of the operational world and the people in it,” said Airman Benson, “Looking back on this experience one will easily see that exceptional leadership, excellent people, and extra ordinary skill, were the key elements leading to the successes of this squadron.”

Lt. Col. Norman Czubaj , 816th EAS and 14th AS commander said the deployment has been a truly humbling experience for him, as he watched talented Airmen perform each mission with excellence.

“It has been a blessing to lead the 14th AS and our operations support section folks as the commander of the 816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron,” he said. “None of it would be possible without the loving support of our families back home … the silent heroes and warriors.”

Paul Kilgallon

Smoke Angel

September 3, 2008
Smoke Angel

Smoke Angel

What type of cloud is that? It is not a naturally occurring one. Looking perhaps a bit like a gigantic owl monster, the cloud pictured above resulted from a series of flares released by an air force jet over the Atlantic Ocean in May. The jet that released the flares, a C-17 Globemaster III, is seen on the right. The flares release smoke and the resulting pattern is sometimes known as a smoke angel. The circular eyes of the above smoke angel are caused by air spiraling off the plane’s wings and are known as wingtip vortices.

Find the C-17 Globemaster III’s smoke angel on a poster, framed art print, or 2009 calendar by visiting The PatriArt Gallery.

Charleston Airmen Deploy For War on Terror

September 3, 2008
C-17 Globemaster III

C-17 Globemaster III

A United States Air Force C-17 Globemaster III airlifter banks above the Arthur Ravenel Bridge over the Cooper River in Charleston, South Carolina. The C-17 is assigned to Charleston Air Force Base. Proudly wear this Charleston AFB C-17 Globemaster III on a tee-shirt or tank-top, or get the C-17 souvenir beer stein. Find these and more online at The Military Chest.

More than 130 Charleston Air Force Base Airmen deployed Aug. 27 to a forward-deployed location in Southwest Asia to support operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

Members of the 15th Airlift Squadron, 437th Operations Support Squadron and 437th Maintenance Group will fly and manage missions in and out of Iraq and Afghanistan. 

The squadron will assume control of the 816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron from the 14th Airlift Squadron based out of Charleston AFB, who will return home.

Lt. Col. John Lamontagne, the 15th AS commander, said there was no question about the importance of what they were getting ready to do and he thanked the members of the 15th AS for their efforts in getting ready to deploy.

“I am very proud to deploy with this squadron,” said Colonel Lamontagne. “They have worked very hard in preparation for this deployment, and although it will be difficult to leave our families behind, I know the squadron will execute the mission well. I also know our spouse network, in conjunction with the base services, will take care of our family members left behind.”

Their deployment marks the seventh time an entire Charleston AFB C-17 Globemaster III squadron has deployed for an operation.

Members of the 15th AS will perform combat airlift missions of personnel and equipment, airdrop resupply missions for troops in remote areas and aeromedical evacuation missions during this deployment, Colonel Lamontagne said.

Paul Kilgannon (AFPN)