Posts tagged: deployment
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.
Mechanics plan to work through the night to figure out what’s wrong with the jet’s steering.
Given the delay, the pilot and crew scrubbed the possibility of a Tuesday takeoff, opting instead for a Wednesday afternoon departure.
The KC-135 is loaded and the deployment briefing is done.
In addition to learning how to thwart potential hijackers, earplugs were passed out. Apparently, flying in a refueling tanker is quite a bit noisier than commercial jets. It’s also so cold that sleeping bags are considered necessary carry-on items.
The massive jet is being returned to the flight line at Manas Transit Center in Kyrgyzstan after being overhauled at Fairchild. It’s carrying several pallets of humanitarian supplies and fresh Fairchild crews.
First stop, however, is an overnighter at RAF Mildenhall, north of London.