Active and Air National Guard airmen at Hickam AFB, Hawaii, are absorbing their current new mission, flying and maintaining C-17 airlifters. Pilots of the 535th Airlift Squadron last week participated in a four-ship air drop training mission, getting needed multi-element training and sustaining aircrew proficiency. The Hickam C-17s already have flown real-world missions when they aided the flood-ravaged island of Kauai. Hickam also is slated to get the Air Force’s latest fighter—the F-22.
The Air Force will begin its 71st annual Operation Christmas Drop on Dec. 4. The weeklong exercise is a yearly tradition that delivers supplies such as food, fishing equipment, school books, and clothes to remote islands in the Pacific. It is the longest-running Department of Defense humanitarian mission.