The Air Force is changing the way the service deploys C-17 airmen, according to a Joint Base Charleston news release. In the past, an entire C-17 flying squadron would deploy at once, as a unit, for 120 days. But now, members of several different Air Mobility Command squadrons will deploy to fill slots in the expeditionary airlift squadron, to perform both support and flying functions. “This change offers the chance to integrate our C-17 community in a completely new way,” said Lt. Col. Sam Todd, 816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron commander at al Udeid AB, Qatar. The new method will allow squadrons flexibility in manning the EAS, he said, which will allow airmen to better plan for life events, training, and other activities. Nine of the 10 AMC C-17 squadrons are represented in the current 816th EAS. The change means that non-deployed units will be able to support deployments with “minimal impact to the squadron, although it does mean [fewer] crews flying traditional mission sets,” said Lt. Col. Patrick Farrell, 16th Airlift Squadron commander at Joint Base Charleston, S.C.
Three B-1B Lancers from the 7th Bomb Wing flew over the Indo-Pacific alongside F-16s from the Japanese Air Self Defense Force recently, as part of a joint large force exercise. The mission began and ended in the continental U.S., as the bombers flew 31 hours and landed Jan. 11.