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Muff Millen

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Seems like we did a whole lot more sorties than this every day at CCK, Clark, Naha, Kadena, and Mactan.

What is so great about a 7 ship surge? Has the service gone soft? I can not imagine how easy of a day it would be to only have to generate only 7 missions in a day. I wonder how much preplan notice they had.

Just my thoughts...I do not belittle the troops at all but what are they thinking in the head shed!!!


YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan (AFNS) -- Seven C-130 Hercules aircraft took off

as part of a Samurai Surge exercise here Nov. 4.

Launching the fleet is an operation that occurs when Airmen launch as

many aircraft available on the ramp simultaneously, known locally as

Samurai Surge.

"The C-130s here at Yokota Air Base are the only tactical airlift fleet

for the Pacific Air Forces, so we provide the tactical airlift to be

able to move humanitarian supplies, medical evacuation missions and any

cargo-carrying capability that units need here within the Pacific," said

Capt. Michael Makaryk, the 374th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron officer

in charge. "We launch here from Japan and we go to places like Thailand,

Australia, anywhere in the Pacific Command area of responsibility to

deliver whatever needs to be delivered."

The Samurai Surge is a joint effort between the 374th Maintenance Group

and the 374th Operations Group.

For the groups, the exercise was a way for aircrew and maintainers to

test their ability to generate all available aircraft.

"We need to be able to demonstrate our maximum capability at a moment's

notice in order to support any type of higher-headquarters tasking,

whether it be humanitarian or combat support at a moment's notice," said

Chief Master Sgt. Albert Novelli, the 374th Aircraft Maintenance

Squadron superintendent. "We need to be able to launch our aircraft and

get out of town in support of that mission,"

"The normal flying and training schedule is normally one, two or three

aircraft a day, so in order to put up seven or eight aircraft, it takes

a lot of effort from our maintainers and our operators," Captain

Makaryak said

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There might be several reasons why they might be promoting this as a big deal.

They might not have the manning. The Air Force is constantly under pressure to do more with less. Unfortunately, that means massive personnel cutbacks. Overseas bases are also authorized to go down to 50% manning requirements, so that could be a factor.

The story mentioned launching all the planes they had available. That means knocking out all the scheduled maintenance and otherwise on their entire fleet. In a small fleet such as 7 or so, that might not be too hard, but I know in a larger unit, there is always one or two down for hard maintenance or lengthy scheduled maintenance, so a massive surge like this can be a big deal.

The story's importance might have been inflated. I know our local paper whips up pretty good storys, sometimes with facts that are either untrue, or they were told one thing and interpreted in a different way because they don't know how to translate the Aircraft world into a story most people can understand, probably becuase the writers themselves don't understand it.

Another possibility as to why you remember flying more everyday is that you guys probably flew aircraft everyday that most aircrews nowdays wouldn't even pass the preflight on. I'm not talking trash, but there have been many changes in how the aircrews determine if an airplane is flyable. I remember at the schoolhouse we would fly 8 turn 6 everyday. We also used to have the manning to support it. Nowdays, our tempo is a little less, but now they won't even fly with a TD system malfunction. That's just the schoolhouse, but it might give you an idea about the direction we've been going. It doesn't help the case of "just fly it" that we've had many years worth of aircraft mishaps since the CCK days that make the aircrews more skeptical about taking engine malfunctions.

I won't even pretend to know all the reasons why they think a 7-ship is a big deal. I just wanted to throw my 2 cents in, and maybe help you make sense if it a bit. I personally think if any unit flys 100% of their airplanes in one day, they did pretty good, just because of the way manning is nowdays.

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I have no idea how many planes Yokota has now but in the late 70's we would have been hard pressed to launch many more that 7 planes. We had "channel'' missions, every week to Korea, Coast Guard support missions to Iwo and Marcus islands, plus a couple more "hard"missions, and we had to go to Clark or Korea for TAC training, since we didn.t have a drop zone or a short field. So that takes away about 6+ planes. Seem there was alway 1 or 2 in depot, and the ones out of commision for maintenance. We had some great maintainers but they could only do so much under the MAC rules of maintenance.


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Just think Muff how many planes you had and personnel to match. All of Yoland's aircraft are not all there and neither are the personnel (supporting other places) With that, the C-130 aircraft you were using were not 35+ years old. I am by no means belittling your accomplishments, but like I said it is a different world!

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Yes, I understand, it just pisses me off to see that the troops today just do not have the equipment or the people to do the job....everything is so spred out and with 20% of maning missing at all times and having to do more and more with less just is not right! I say stop foriegn aid and build our military back to the position where no one dared to poke a stick at us...Peace through POWER.


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