Hurricane Irene couldn’t keep the members of Air Force Reserve Command’s 908th Airlift Wing at Maxwell AFB, Ala., from deploying to Muniz ANGB, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, for their regular airlift support contributions in Central and South America. The wing—Alabama’s only Reserve unit—last week evacuated its C-130Hs to MacDill AFB, Fla., to avoid the storm, which hit the US East Coast on Aug. 27. However, the Reservists still left that same day from MacDill for Muniz to participate in Coronet Oak, an Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve operation that the 908th AW has participated in several times a year since 1983, according to a unit release. “Coronet Oak deployments provide airlift to US embassies and other government agencies throughout the region. For Reserve and Guard units, it is an excellent opportunity to train people, while providing much needed airlift service,” said Lt. Col. Jerry Lobb, 908th AW spokesman.
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.