Air Mobility at its Finest

Twelve C-17s and five C-5s manned with Active Duty, Air National Guard, and Air Force Reserve Command crews on Nov. 1 began what Pentagon Press Secretary George Little dubbed a “significant airlift event” to help civilian authorities restore power in the Superstorm Sandy-ravaged northeastern United States. Mobility airmen and machines from 12 bases across the nation started arriving at March ARB, Calif., on Thursday morning local time to pick up approximately 10 civilian power experts and 632 short tons of equipment and supplies, including 69 vehicles from the Southern California Edison Utility company, for transport to Stewart ANG Base in Newburgh, N.Y. Among the vehicles were 10 cherry picker trucks, four line trucks, a flat-bed digger, eight “trouble trucks” and a mobile command center, Little told reporters. Once offloaded at Stewart, the vehicles would move out to support the power-restoration activities in the New York area. “This operation demonstrates the strength of our air mobility system, said Col. James Finney, vice commander of March’s 452nd Air Mobility Wing, a Reserve unit. He added, “By leveraging our reserve component[s], in partnership with our Active Duty airmen, we are able to provide rapid response to national requirements. This is Total Force global mobility at its finest.” (Includes AFPS report by Jim Garamone, March report by Linda Welz, and Scott release)