The Air Force is providing key airlift capabilities in response to the disaster in Haiti, this is all being handled by Air Mobility Command and the Tanker Airlift Control Center at Scott Air Force Base. One of the main hubs, operating these airlift mission is Charleston Air Force Base. While the majority of the cargo is being picked up at other locations, they are tasking many of the flights in and out of Haiti right now. This includes just about every type of airlift “tail” the Air Force has at it’s disposal. I spent the day touring Charleston Air Force Base yesterday – they had C-130‘s, C-17‘s and C-5‘s parked on their flight line, along with civilian heavy airlift 747‘s. (more…)
The United States Air Force has pulled out all the stops in an effort to support the ongoing relief efforts in Haiti. Among some of the things they are doing and arguably one of the most critical efforts of the relief in general, is controlling the airspace in and around Haiti and, most importantly, the Port Au Prince Airport. Currently Air Force combat controllers are providing the air traffic control for all traffic in and out of Haiti.
Another critical part of the overall relief effort is the transportation of all of the items necessary to support the ongoing relief operations. Air Force Air Mobility Command is currently providing several of its C-17 and C-130 aircraft along with a number of its personnel to support this mission. You can read all about the full effort of AMC and the 618th Tanker Airlift Control Center here. (more…)
Major General Gregory Feest, the commander of the 19th , was in Chicago representing the Air Force and acting as the senior military officer in attendance at the event. The 19th Air Force is tasked with providing flight and aircrew training to more than 25,000 US and Allied students annually and is comprised of more than 38,000 Total Force personnel across 17 wings and 3 training groups. They operate 1,720 aircraft including the T-1 Jayhawk, T-6A Texan II, and T-38 Talon.
A little background on the General, he has over 5,400 total flight hours and more than 800 combat hours. He’s flown a countless number of airframes including the F-111, the F-15C and E, and the F-117. General Feest holds a number of claims to aviation fame, he is the first person to ever reach 1,000 hours in the F-117 and the first person to fly that aircraft into combat. He is also purported to hold the most combat hours in the F-117 (more than 130 hours) having been the first person in Desert Storm to drop a bomb in Iraq from an F-117. (more…)