Wright Patt C-17 hurricane relief flights expected to fly for weeks

Published: Friday, October 06, 2017 @ 5:00 AM

Airmen prepare to offload a Wright Patt C-17 delivering troops and supplies Sept. 12, 2017 at Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fla. BARRIE BARBER/STAFF
Airmen prepare to offload a Wright Patt C-17 delivering troops and supplies Sept. 12, 2017 at Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fla. BARRIE BARBER/STAFF

Powerful hurricanes that barreled through Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands leaving a deadly swath of destruction will likely keep Wright-Patterson C-17 transport jets flying relief missions for weeks, a unit official said Thursday.

The Air Force Reserve 445th Airlift Wing has had an average of a flight a day since the first mission to Texas launched Aug. 30 after Hurricane Harvey left widespread flooding in the wake of a deluge of record rainfall, the official said.

Between the 17 missions flown after hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria through Wednesday, the wing has transported more than 650 passengers and hauled more than 1.3 million pounds of cargo, figures show.

RELATED: An inside look: Take a flight aboard a Wright-Patt C-17 hurricane relief mission to Florida

“We’ve been incredibly busy,” said Lt. Col. Bryan M. Bailey, director of operations for the 89th Airlift Squadron, part of the 445th Airlift Wing based at Wright-Patterson. “We’ve had an airplane airborne in support of hurricane relief everyday.”

Each mission often has several legs, or separate flights: C-17 crews have picked up troops, first responders and supplies and flown to hurricane-ravaged areas, he said. Among other spots, the workhorse airlifters have landed in recent weeks in Texas, Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, South Carolina, Delaware, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Honduras.

Wright-Patt C-17s transported thousands of packages of meals-ready-to eat, water, sleeping cots, farm combine-sized forklifts, power equipment and other supplies, according to wing spokeswoman Lt. Col. Cynthia Harris.

RELATED: When hurricanes strike, Wright-Patt crews have taken to the air

“We’ve basically been in surge operations and making it happen with extra volunteers,” Bailey said. “…The sense of urgency is shown through the volunteerism that we’ve had because this is above what we normally do.”

Flights headed to St. Croix, Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico left Wednesday with an 18th mission set to take-off Thursday for Puerto Rico, officials said.

RELATED: Wright-Patt C-17 flies Indiana rescuers to Puerto Rico after hurricane

The wing is postured on alert status for relief flights through the end of October, Bailey said. “It might be longer,” the C-17 pilot added.

The Wright-Patterson reserve wing has nine C-17 Globemaster III airplanes that fly missions around the globe.

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Top Gun pilot to speak at film screening

Published: Wednesday, February 14, 2018 @ 6:04 PM


            The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. BARRIE BARBER/STAFF
The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. BARRIE BARBER/STAFF

A real-life Top Gun is scheduled to be at a screening of Top Gun 3D at the Air Force Museum Theatre.

Retired Navy Capt. Ken Ginader, a former Top Gun instructor and F-14 pilot, was set to speak at the screening of film, set for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 15. Doors open at 6 p.m.

Ginader is the first speaker in the 2018 Living History Film Series at the museum.

Tickets cost $12 for audience members, or $10 for members of Friends of the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.

For more information, click onto http://www.afmuseum.com/livinghistory .

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Wright-Patt training exercise sets off booms

Published: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 3:22 PM


            Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
            STAFF/File
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base(STAFF/File)

If you heard a loud noise today at Wright-Patterson, it was all part of training, a base spokesman says.

The Dayton Daily News and News Center 7 were contacted by residents inquiring what was the cause of the explosion.

A Wright-Patterson Explosive Ordnance Disposal bomb squad was scheduled to set off three explosions between noon and 4 p.m. Wednesday, according to base spokesman Daryl Mayer.

The unit periodically sets off explosions in training which are often heard outside the base.

RELATED:Air Force Marathon tops list of ‘best’ fall marathons

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Book chronicles heroism of war correspondents like OSU’s Cecil Brown

Published: Friday, February 16, 2018 @ 4:49 PM

As he scanned the names of the past winners of the Peabody award for broadcast journalism, Reed Smith, a professor of journalism at Georgia Southern University, came across the name Cecil Brown of CBS and admitted he “had never heard of him before.”

It began a four-year effort by Smith that culminated last November in the release of his book, “Cecil Brown: The Murrow Boy Who Became Broadcasting’s Crusader for Truth.” It’s the story of an Ohio State University student from 1929 who reached the pinnacle of broadcast journalism during World War II and the era of Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s.

Smith became fascinated with Brown’s story and it is easy to see why. As a CBS Radio broadcaster in Singapore in December 1941 he nearly lost his life when Japanese torpedo bombers sank the British battlecruiser Repulse in the South China Sea. Brown was a correspondent on the Repulse.

His gripping minute-by-minute account of the disaster for CBS, which also included the destruction of the British battleship Prince of Wales, earned him the Peabody award and transformed him into one of the best-known correspondents of World War II.

“There were upwards of a thousand sailors who died during that attack,” Smith said. “He was not wounded during attack and fortunately was able to get off the ship. A British sailor reached out in the water off a Carley Float and grabbed him. Cecil thought he had just about had it. It was pretty miraculous.”

Brown also was known for his legendary battles with Italian and British censors in World II as they tried to block or alter his broadcasts, prompting Smith to describe Brown as “very feisty. He was a big First Amendment guy and he became quite exasperated when anybody tried to curtail his freedom of the press.”

RELATED: Cecil Brown’s obituary

For Smith, 68, it was a case of one Ohio man meeting another. Smith, a graduate of Ohio University who earned an M.A. from Bowling Green and then a Ph.D from Ohio University, grew up in New Concord. Brown, who died in 1987, was raised in Warren, married a woman from Columbus who is still alive in Los Angeles at age 104.

He left Ohio State nine hours short of a degree in 1929 and worked as a reporter for a number of years before Edward R. Murrow hired him at CBS Radio in 1940 and assigned him to cover the war from Rome.

Brown reported in an entirely different era than today when journalists are under relentless attacks from President Donald Trump and many conservatives.

“It tells us the public view of journalism has changed drastically over the past 70 years,” Smith said. “Murrow and Cecil were seen as heroes. They were brave men in the war zone telling the truth for what was going on and continuing to get in trouble for telling the truth.”

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Work to start next month on $10.5 million Wright-Patt gateway

Published: Thursday, February 15, 2018 @ 5:30 PM


            Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Gate 16A, a commercial truck screening checkpoint, will be consolidated with a new Gate 26A in 2019 in a $10.5 million construction project. JIM WITMER | 2011 STAFF FILE PHOTO
            Jim Witmer
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Gate 16A, a commercial truck screening checkpoint, will be consolidated with a new Gate 26A in 2019 in a $10.5 million construction project. JIM WITMER | 2011 STAFF FILE PHOTO(Jim Witmer)

A new $10.5 million gateway that will consolidate two Wright-Patterson entrances into one is set to begin construction next month, a base spokesman says.

A new Gate 26A, a few hundred yards from the current one, would replace a commercial delivery entrance at Gate 16A off Ohio 444, and the existing Gate 26A off Ohio 235 near the entrance to the 445th Airlift Wing headquarters.

The new entrance way off Ohio 235 will be sited between Sandhill Road and Circle Drive, according to Wright-Patterson spokesman Daryl Mayer.

Work was scheduled for completion at the end of next year, the base said.

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