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Charleston AFB Gears up for Afghanistan

April 30, 2009

team_charlestonWe were discussing in the comments recently of the validity of airborne lift and about Sec. Gates canceling of any new C-17 buys. I must admit I am a little bias having lived so close to the Charleston Air Force Base, which incidentally was the first AF unit to receive the Globemaster II back in 1993. Having soldiered hard ever since in all of America’s conflicts and peacekeeping operations, the Post and Courier reveals them readying for a renewed effort in Afghanistan:

President Barack Obama recently ordered the U.S. war effort to refocus, dispatching 17,000 additional soldiers and Marines to Afghanistan to join the 38,000 American troops already in the country.

Charleston’s role in that shift is similar to running a priority mail service. Items that can be moved at a slower pace are flown out of other North American bases, while equipment that comes with an “immediacy” label flies east on one of the base’s 56 C-17 cargo planes…

Other signs of the Afghanistan shift are airmen talking about small-arms and chemical-weapons training. Some already are schooled in predominant Afghan languages, Dari and Pashtu. Air Force Maj. Jason Engle, an operations officer, said the fact that the base is emphasizing Afghanistan is no big deal. Service members, he said, realize that getting stationed overseas comes with the territory in joining the military.  “I think they realize they are going to be deployed.”

What a great bunch of heroes. Thanks to the 437 and 315th Airlift Wings, all who fly and those who keep them flying!

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