July 2023 in Review

  • Published
  • By Bradley J. Clark
  • 908th Airlift Wing

The 908th Airlift Wing started the month of July remembering two significant dates in its history. First, on July 1, 1963, a 357th Troop Carrier Squadron crew consisting of Maj. Harold Weekley, Maj. Leroy Weil, Capt. Bobby Sellers, Staff Sgt. Francis Baker and Staff Sgt. Gordon Conrad ferried a C-119 Flying Boxcar to Agra, India. The aircraft was bought by the Indian Air Force and was ferried from St. Augustine Florida to Agra traveling a total of 22,000 miles. Then, on July 1, 1967, the 908th Troop Carrier Group was redesignated as the 908th Tactical Airlift Group and the 357th Troop Carrier Squadron was redesignated as the 357th Tactical Airlift Squadron.

On July 5, the 908th highlighted the Air Force Specialty Code 3E2X1, otherwise known as pavements and construction equipment specialists.

Thursday, July 6, the wing congratulated 21 members who promoted.

The next day, the wing remembered another important event in its history. On July 7, 1967, Col. Marcus C. West became the third commander of the 908th.

On Sunday the wing remembered another anniversary. July 9, 1945, the 357th Bomb Squadron flew its first combat mission ever.

Also on that Sunday, the wing welcomed 17 new members to its ranks.

Later that same day, the 908th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron held an Assumption of Command ceremony for newly promoted Maj. William T. Staub.

Tuesday, July 11, 2023, the wing highlighted members from the 357th Airlift Squadron’s squadron aviation resource management section that recently went to Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, to train with 512th Rescue Squadron’s SARM in preparation for the 908th’s new mission as the formal training unit for the MH-139A Grey Wolf helicopter.

The next day the wing remembered another moment in history. From July 12 to 30, 2017, 98 members of the wing participated in Carpathian Summer 2017 as part of the Air Force Reserve Command partnership with the Romanian Air Force. Joint training was conducted in airlift operations and aeromedical evacuation procedures.

On that same day but in the present, the wing highlighted Staff Sgt. Jasmine Brinson, 908th Airlift Wing command and control operations section emergency action controller who was recently recognized as the 908 AW’s Airman of the Quarter for the fourth quarter of 2022.

The next day the wing released an article highlighting the efforts made by the wing’s religious affairs team to ensure resilience throughout the 908th, by making sure every unit has had time with the team and understands what benefits they provide to Airmen.

During the weekend, the wing remembered two events in its history. First, on July 15, 1996, a 908th C-130, crewed by members of the 357th Airlift Squadron, flew hospital equipment and supplies to St. Petersburg, Russia.

Then, on Sunday, the unit remembered that on July 16, 1966, a 908th C-119 crashed near Jacksonville, Florida after losing an engine in a fire. The four crew members and 30 Florida National Guard Soldiers bailed out safely before crashing. The last to exit the aircraft was the pilot, Maj. Robert C. Coyle, who was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism.

Monday was another significant date in 908th history. July 17, 1944, the 25th Aerial Port Squadron was constituted as the 2nd Air Cargo Resupply Detachment at Greenham Common, England.

Also, that day, but in the present, the wing released a video highlighting security forces members conducting expandable baton training. The next day an article was released explain why the training is vital for mission success.

Another date in wing history was recognized, July 18, 1980, Col. Robert S. Martin became the 13th commander of the 908th.

Another anniversary was remembered on July 20. In 2016, from July 20 to August 7, the wing participated in the first Air Force Reserve Command partnership with the Romanian Air Force, dubbed Carpathian Summer.

On July 24, 1960, the 35th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, the predecessor to the 908th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, was activated in Birmingham, Alabama. It was assigned to the 7th Aeromedical Evacuation Group at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

On July 24, 2023, the wing released an article highlighting Tech. Sgt. Haley Irby, 25th Aerial Port Squadron training manager, for her role in developing the U.S. Space Force basic military training program.

The wing closed out the month highlighting Senior Airman Juliana Todd, 908th Airlift Wing public affairs specialist who, earned Airman of the Quarter for the first quarter of 2022 and is the reigning Air Force Reserve Command best new writer, along with four other awards she earned in the command’s 2022 media contest.

VIDEO | 01:45 | 908 SFS Engages in Expandable Baton Training