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businessdr

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Everything posted by businessdr

  1. 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."
  2. 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.
  3. 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...
  4. businessdr

    SEA

    Shadow, it is interesting how stories get garbled on the retelling. I was the nav on 1297. We landed and taxied to the hazardous cargo offloading area on the north side of the field where we offloaded the BLU-82s. I do not recall if we shut down engines or not, but I can imagine it was an engine running download. We then taxied to the south taxiway and were headed to pick up evacuees when we were hit on the taxiway.
  5. MHeflin, let me correct your story, or at least how I understand what you heard. It sounded like your story claimed the 21st TAS crew braked and evacuated before getting hit. That is not so. I know, because I was the navigator on that flight. We landed and went to the north side of the field to offload a BLU-82 that we had brought in. We offloaded the cargo, crossed to the other side of the runway, and were on the taxiway headed to picking up passengers when the field came under attack. The pilot was considering doing an emergency takeoff from the taxiway, but before a decision could be made if we had sufficient length to do so, we got hit in the right wing. Fuel began to pour out and ignited, setting the plane on fire. We evacuated as soon as we got hit and exited to the area between the taxiway and runway. After regrouping to ensure all were OK, we then decided to run over to the revetments near the refugee pickup spot on the south side of the taxiway. Upon hearing a GTC start up on a C-130 that had landed after us, we ran to that plan and exited with them, being the last US military airplane out of Vietnam.
  6. 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.
  7. The title is somewhat misleading. The application requires that you certify you have an impairment "that severely limits one or more major life activities". Simply having a compensable disability certifed by a VA letter does not necessarily reach this level of impairment.
  8. Sam, the E Flight mission changed over the years. I would not characterize E flight in the 80s as a "troop carrier mission." We were not simply ferrying planes to the point where some other agency got in and took over the mission.
  9. Kurt, The mission of E flight varied over the years. It was different in the 21st TCS era and in the Vietnam era than when I was in it from 1984-1987. It certainly would have been different again if flying out of Rhein Mein as someone indicated at a later date. My recollection was that you needed to be instructor qualified, but I don't recall any other special quals other than being able to get a TS-SCI clearance. I can personally dispell the rumor that you were shot once you left the unit. The crews and maintenance were actually not a separate unit, but were members of other units who flew or supported particular missions (at least when I was a member). If anyone knows where to send a FOIA request concerning current classification status, please let me know at [email protected] I have made several attempts to see if any aspect of this program has been declassified, and I cannot find a unit (e.g., 345th at Yokota or PACAF at Hickam) that even recognizes the program existed. I don't know about E flight but for Heavy Chain you could check with the Big Safari program office at Wright Patt. They were responsible for developing Heavy Chain. Bob
  10. Vince, It depends on the time frame in question whether or not E Flight has Super"E" models, as another post indicated we had them when I was in E Flight in the 80s. I do, however, agree with your comments on people assuming they know what E flight did. The mission of E Flight changed over the years, and it continued on in a different role after the Vietnam era. Doug
  11. businessdr

    SEA

    Jimmie, I was the navigator on 1297. I had always assumed we got a direct hit through the right wing. I don't recall having spoken to anyone on your crew about the incident afterwards, so I never heard the description you provided. After 35 years, it is good to hear the correct chain of events. As a slight edit to the description, we initially exited the aircraft to a ditch just to the left of the taxiway (towards the runway and away from the loading ramps). Later on I heard from intel that that area had been mined! After a brief stop there, we ran to the ramp, and I am guessing we ended up about 50 yards from your plane. We were already there when we heard your GTC start. Prior to that we hadn't realized there was a crew there. I still remember squatting low on the ramp before hearing your GTC and having one of the two security police who were with us (to provide "crowd control" for the passengers) asking if they should fire back. I found this both amusing and incredulous at the same time. I have no idea what they were thinking of shooting at. Doug
  12. businessdr

    SEA

    We were not to pick up a Blu 82, but to offload, which we did. We never went to base ops, nor was there a plan to do so. We were to offload ordanance, pick up pax, and leave, all engines running. When we got hit, we evacuated to the ramp area until hopping on the last plane that had been on the ramp when the mortars started. Doug
  13. businessdr

    SEA

    I just found this thread, so in case it is still of interest, there were no Blu 82s on board when our plane was hit. We had just offloaded the Blu 82s on the otherside of the runway, had taxied to the other side, and were on our way to pick up pax when we got hit. Doug Webster
  14. I was in E Flight from 84-87 at Clark. If others are around from that era, I\'d welcome a chance to reconnect. Doug Webster
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