From Robins to Bagram, Combat Repair Team Tackles “Sanded” C-17:

The 653rd Combat Logistics Support Squadron’s Aircraft Battle Damage Repair Team from Robins AFB, Ga., literally helped write the book in dealing with a severely damaged C-17 stuck in the sand at Bagram AB, Afghanistan. The Robins team joined forces with what’s called the Recovery and Modification Services Team—comprising contractors and Air Force personnel from C-17 bases—to dig the airlifter out of eight cubic feet of sand and make extensive repairs—“the most damage” ever seen on the new airlifter, said MSgt. Phillip Williams, team chief on this job, describing the feat to the Robins Rev-Up recently. The C-17 was “so badly damaged that we had to basically rebuild the whole belly section … and the pod by hand,” to get it in condition to fly back to the Boeing aircraft plant in Long Beach, Calif., said MSgt. David Calbillo, assistant CLSS team chief. It took them only two months—instead of an estimated three or four—working around the clock.