California Air Nationwide Guard held a large train, often known as the ‘elephant stroll’, for the primary time in over 20 years.
6 California Air Nationwide Guard C-130J Tremendous Hercules plane took half in a large flying train on the Channel Islands Air Nationwide Guard Station, Port Hueneme, California.
With a big crowd of airmen gathering to witness the historic occasion often known as “the elephant stroll,” the colossal plane started taxiing down the runway in tight formation. Among the many spectators watching the landmark occasion was Col. John Ramos, Commander of the 146 MXG.
Two months beforehand, Ramos started strategizing how he’d accomplish his imaginative and prescient of a 6-ship formation. Going through an unprecedented profession field-wide workforce scarcity and a viral pandemic, the 146 MXS had achieved what Ramos says appeared unbelievable, till assist arrived within the type of extra maintainers activated for COVID-19 assist.
“I summoned my Upkeep Group chiefs and officers to coordinate this lofty objective, and it was initially met with resistance for purpose. Two of the plane we wished to make use of have been scheduled for heavy upkeep, and there was some actual doubt they’d be prepared in time. After we acquired extra forces to assist bolster our maintainers, we continued to maneuver ahead as deliberate,” mentioned Ramos.
As days handed, the 146 MXG would acquire the momentum wanted to perform the required upkeep on all 6 of the plane. Ramos says the squadron was beginning to really feel an additional increase of enthusiasm and a renewed sense of pleasure.
“There was a brand new buzz within the air, and our people began urgent on cohesively and effectively. It wasn’t lengthy earlier than we realized that our objective was beginning to change into extra of a actuality. It was actually superb to witness our maintainers in motion,” mentioned Ramos.
With the scheduled plane upkeep coming alongside easily for the squadron, the promising outlook of a 6-ship formation regarded good. For the primary time for the reason that wing acquired its first C-130J plane in Could 2002, the squadron was anticipated to witness one other 6-ship formation.
That outlook would change proper earlier than the scheduled launch, as the upkeep staff found a serious drawback in line with Ramos.
“One night time earlier than the occasion we needed to floor one of many plane for security, as a chunk of the touchdown gear was discovered with a discrepancy throughout a preflight inspection. It appeared that what we had got down to accomplish was now turning into practically inconceivable,” mentioned Ramos.
With little time to spare, the 146 MXG rallied tirelessly that night although the subsequent morning to return the plane to service. The 6-ship formation would go off with out a hitch, because of the maintainer’s perseverance and tenacity. Ramos, who believes the profitable launching of the 6 plane could have lasting impacts for his maintainers says it was a unbelievable achievement to perform through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“To look at all 6 plane parked on our ramp, watching them begin engines, taxiing all in line, and watching them go airborne one after the other was a sight to behold. There have been tears of pleasure flowing from the eyes of our skilled maintainers, having by no means witnessed such a tremendous feat of their careers. Overwhelmingly, it has boosted morale with pleasure of possession now permeating all through the group. It has additionally enhanced relationships with our aircrew. It’s a big step in the direction of our continued quest to be the perfect C-130J unit within the U.S. Air Power and to protect the 146th Airlift Wing’s a number of mission units at Channel Islands Air Nationwide Guard Station for a lot of extra years to come back,” mentioned Ramos.