Airfield Ops Surge at Hickam for RIMPAC

With over 200 aircraft and some 25,000 personnel participating in the Rim of the Pacific, the multinational maritime exercise is proving a significant challenge for the airmen of the 15th Operations Support Squadron Airfield Management Flight at JB Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. TSgt. Bryan Masters, the 15th OSS airfield management operations noncommissioned officer-in-charge said a staff of 10 airmen spent four months coming up with a parking plan at the base to accommodate all the aircraft for the biennial exercise, which runs through August 1. “We’ve had to get creative with our aircraft parking plan,” he said. This year’s exercise will include the most aircraft RIMPAC has hosted in 24 years, including F-15Cs, F-16s, F-22s, HH-60 Pave Hawks, C-130Js, as well as aircraft from other services and participating allied nations. Masters said USAF criteria for parking and staging aircraft are different for some joint partners. To ensure more efficient helicopter operations, Masters’ team built a temporary helipad on the flight line in the hopes of streamlining helicopter landing and parking operations, which would help better flow through the field, he added.