Gateway To Afghanistan

Preparing for winter

From left to right, Daniel Goodman, senior airman, and Josh Myers and Antonio Rapp, both airmen 1st class, sit aboard a KC-135R Stratotanker flight form Fairchild Air Force Base to Kyrgyzstan, where they're deploying to Manas Transit Center and will help deice aircraft this winter. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
From left to right, Daniel Goodman, senior airman, and Josh Myers and Antonio Rapp, both airmen 1st class, sit aboard a KC-135R Stratotanker flight form Fairchild Air Force Base to Kyrgyzstan, where they're deploying to Manas Transit Center and will help deice aircraft this winter. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

The temperature in Bishkek when the KC-135 landed at Manas was in the low 70s, a bit of an October oddity for this part of Central Asia, but five of the Fairchild-based airmen aboard are a reminder that winter is on the way.

They are the first aircraft de-icing team of the season to be deployed to Kyrgyzstan, a mountainous nation known for its harsh winters.

The airmen -- Derek Vaughn, staff sergeant; Daniel Goodman, senior airman; Josh Myers, Antonio Rapp and James White, all airmen 1st class -- will undergo training after a 12-hour acclimation to the 13-hour time zone difference in Bishkek.

At least one member of the new crew already has had a crash course. Goodman was pressed into service as a de-icer when he first was stationed at Fairchild during Spokane's record-breaking winter of 2008-09.




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David Wasson oversees coverage of politics and state and local government and assists with editing on the City Desk.

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