The 737th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron, a C-130H unit made up of airmen and machines from Dyess, AFB, Tex., and Yokota AB, Japan, flew more than 10,000 missions in Southwest Asia in 2009 supporting operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. One of its C-130Hs, tail number 74-2065, eclipsed the unit’s 10,000 mark on Dec. 23 during a mission moving troops and supplies into Iraq. Col. Mark Czelusta, commander of the 386th Operations Group at the air base in Southwest Asia from which the squadron flies, said this sortie tally is not unprecedented, but still “a noteworthy milestone” due to the outstanding teamwork of all the airmen involved. Alone the C-130s in the squadron’s most recent rotation, which began in October, have carried more than 54,000 passengers and hauled more than 1,400 tons of cargo in 2,100 sorties, said Lt. Col. George Clark, 737th EAS commander. (386th AEW report by SSgt. Lindsey Maurice)
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.