The 52nd Airlift Squadron and Air Force Reserve Command’s 731st AS cemented their units’ association at Peterson AFB, Colo., with the opening of a new, shared operations building. The 12,500 square-foot, $5.6 million facility will host maintenance and administration for the units’ 12 jointly operated C-130H airlifters, according to a Peterson release. “From day one, the 52nd AS pulled together, and since then we’ve been through combat together and we’ve been inspected together,” said Col. Jay Pittman, commander of AFRC’s 302nd Airlift Wing, parent unit of the 731st AS, at the facility’s July 17 ribbon cutting. “This building is really going to be the icing on the cake. It’s the last piece we need to look like a long-term, professional organization,” added Pittman. The building’s groundbreaking took place in February 2011. The 52nd AS stood up in 2009 to partner with the 302nd AW, which owns the 12 C-130s, under an active association. The squadron falls under the 19th AW at Little Rock AFB, Ark. (Peterson report by SSgt. Stephan Collier)
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.