Over the Arctic into Afghanistan

Fourteen mobility airmen from active duty and Reserve ranks teamed to fly a C-5M Super Galaxy transport on a direct, non-stop mission from Dover AFB, Del., to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. The June 5-6 flight was more than 15 hours in duration, including one aerial refueling. While commercial airlines have been using this airspace, this proof-of-concept flight marked the first time that an Air Force aircraft flew this northern route from the United States over Canada into the Arctic Circle and then back down through Russian and Kazakh airspace to Afghanistan. Maj. John Rozsnyai, a US Transportation Command operations planner, said mobility officials eye this route as a quicker means of swapping out deployed troops, aircrews, and air assets supporting Afghanistan operations. Similar flights originating from the western United States wouldn’t require tanker support, he noted. (Bagram report by MSgt. Scott T. Sturkol)