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Heavy Chain and Eagle Flight.......


TOLD BAG
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  • 3 years later...

Clearly I need to be checking here more frequently than I have! Sam and Fred, I have no idea of your sources or basis of authority on 1980s operations.  However, I was assigned to the 21st TAS from Feb. 1984 for a 3 year tour.  I was initially the 21st TAS chief navigator, and then moved to become the ALCE commander until the end of my tour.  Late in 1984 I joined what everyone in the 21st TAS knew as "E flight".  It was also referred to as E Flight by 13th Air Force, who ran the missions.  This was not a separate organizational element of the 21st TAS.  It was instead a specifically designated set of personnel who were cleared to fly the missions.  In other words, while I flew E flight missions, I also flew regular 21st TAS missions. 

It is very misleading to suggest that those persons flying those missions simply "twenty years later claim to have been part of them when it was an entirely different mission altogether."  I claim only what I know I was told by the 21TAS and 13th Air Force--that this operation was referred to as E flight.  If an organization's mission changes over time, that does not mean that it is not the same organization, only evolved.  Most certainly, an outside observer is not in a position to second guess without some concrete data refuting what those who were participants were told by the Air Force command with operational responsibility.

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  • 4 years later...

It is over 4 years since my post above, and I have still not seen anything regarding the missions we flew in the '80s out of Clark AB. That mission was very different from the other E-flight missions that have been broadly discussed, but to this date I have heard only silence. Does anything know if this mission has ever become unclassified? I can understand why if not, but I am hoping to tell the story some day...

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/30/2021 at 8:27 PM, businessdr said:

It is over 4 years since my post above, and I have still not seen anything regarding the missions we flew in the '80s out of Clark AB. That mission was very different from the other E-flight missions that have been broadly discussed, but to this date I have heard only silence. Does anything know if this mission has ever become unclassified? I can understand why if not, but I am hoping to tell the story some day...

I have no idea whether the Special Assignment Airlift (SAM) missions, Heavy Jump/Sage Owl, flown by the 374 TAW during the 80's are still classified. Probably.

1598 avoided the beer can material fate.

https://www.greatfallstribune.com/story/news/local/2016/05/02/aircraft-retired-flight-hours/83847258/

https://www.dvidshub.net/video/461674/c-130-retirement-broll

Nice to see that. Kudos to the 120th Airlift Wing guys!    1597 Was at Birmingham last info I've seen from the roster on this website

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For the past several years I reviewed many posts concerning E-flight missions. I would say that during my tour with e-flight, I only knew the details of the missions I flew. I am sure the details of the missions I flew will never be de-classified. I am sure that the crew I flew with would never reveal any details. Not only that, we didn’t discuss any details among ourselves at any time. E-flight had several era’s. I can only speak to the era that I flew in. Classified sensitive information should stay that way.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/16/2021 at 10:21 PM, u106625 said:

For the past several years I reviewed many posts concerning E-flight missions. I would say that during my tour with e-flight, I only knew the details of the missions I flew. I am sure the details of the missions I flew will never be de-classified. I am sure that the crew I flew with would never reveal any details. Not only that, we didn’t discuss any details among ourselves at any time. E-flight had several era’s. I can only speak to the era that I flew in. Classified sensitive information should stay that way.

Correct........... classified information remains classified until it is officially de-classified. If anything classified is discussed, I want no part of it.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/25/2021 at 5:12 PM, Graywolf88 said:

Correct........... classified information remains classified until it is officially de-classified. If anything classified is discussed, I want no part of it.

Grayworlf99, that is not quite correct. Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 (a)  states "Subject to paragraphs (b)–(d) and (g)–(j) of this section, all classified records that (1) are more than 25 years old and (2) have been determined to have permanent historical value under title 44, United States Code, shall be automatically declassified whether or not the records have been reviewed. All classified records shall be automatically declassified on December 31 of the year that is 25 years from the date of origin, except as provided in paragraphs (b)–(d) and (g)–(j) of this section. If the date of origin of an individual record cannot be readily determined, the date of original classification shall be used instead."

As noted above, there are exceptions and I have sought unsuccessfully through the Pentagon and other sources to find an appropriate contact that could give an official answer. 

Perhaps most importantly, I believe my post was clear that I was only asking if anyone had knowledge of the 1980s mission being declassified.  Earlier era E flight missions were different and have apparently been declassified, as books have been written on them. However, I have never seen anything on the 1980s mission and I was only asking.  No one on here has ever suggested discussing any missions that remain classified. In the 35 years since I flew these missions, I have never said one word about where we went, what we did, or anything else related to the mission. I've not seen anything on here suggesting anyone would do otherwise.

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Graywolf, I am well aware. The E Flight I was a member of was SCI level clearance. Per https://www.justice.gov/archives/open/declassification/declassification-faq

"IS SENSITIVE COMPARTMENTED INFORMATION (SCI) SUBJECT TO AUTOMATIC DECLASSIFICATION?

Yes. SCI is subject to automatic declassification unless specifically exempted by an approved file series exemption or declassification guide. All SCI information will be referred to the appropriate member(s) of the Intelligence Community for declassification action."

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