C-20H Completes First Combat Tour

Members of the 76th Airlift Squadron at Ramstein AB, Germany, have returned home with their Gulfstream C-20H distinguished visitor transport aircraft from Afghanistan, marking completion of this aircraft type’s first-ever deployment to a combat zone. The unit supported the ISAF commander over the course of the 10-month tour, providing him, his staff, and US and Afghan dignitaries with priority transport. In all, the squadron clocked 310 sorties and 700 flying hours while transporting 95 dignitaries and 1,100 passengers during that span, including the US ambassador and Afghan President, and NATO’s secretary general. Ramstein crews rotated every 90 days, fulfilling the role “despite a 30 [percent] to 40 percent turnover,” said Capt. Erik Carlson, 76th AS aircraft commander. They trained “aggressively” at Ramstein in preparation for deploying, while simultaneously managing their DV-hauling duties at home in Europe. (Ramstein report by SrA. Scott Saldukas)