August 2023 in Review

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

The 908th Airlift Wing started the month of August with the Wing Commander, Col. Craig Drescher, and the Wing Command Chief, Chief Master Sgt. Kristen Maloney, both attending the Air Force Reserve Command Wing Commander and Command Chief conference in Dallas, Texas.

Also on August 1, the wing remembered some significant events in its history. On August 1, 1944, the 2nd Air Cargo Resupply detachment, which would later become the 25th Aerial Port Squadron, was activated at Greenham Common, England.

Then, on August 1, 1992, the 908th Logistics Group, later becoming the 908th Maintenance Group, the 908th Support Group, later becoming the 908th Mission Support Group, and the 908th Operations Group were all activated and assigned to the 908th Airlift Group at Maxwell Air Force Base Alabama. That same day, the 908th Operations Support Squadron and the 35th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, later becoming the 908 AES, were both activated and assigned to the 908th Operations Group.

Coincidently, as two thirds of the wing’s command team was at the AFRC conference, the wing’s new Deputy Commander, Col. Michael Bennett, had his first day in the new position Wednesday August 2, 2023. Bennett joined the wing from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, where he was the Deputy Commander for the 445th Mission Support Group.

Also taking place on August 2, 2023, the wing highlighted the Air Force Specialty Code 5R0X1, otherwise known as religious affairs Airmen.

The next day the 908th celebrated some more history. On August 3, 1963, the newly formed 908th Troop Carrier Group had approximately 450 members start their very first two-week annual tour as a unit. Most members stayed at Bates Field in Mobile, Alabama, while approximately 100 members and 10 C-119 Flying Boxcars went to Pope Air Force Base, North Carolina, to participate in exercise Swift Strike III.

Friday, August 4, 2023, the wing congratulated 25 members who promoted.

On Sunday, August 6, 2023, the wing welcomed 10 new members to its ranks.

On Thursday August 11, the wing remembered another major moment in its history. August 11, 1982, the 908th welcomed its first C-130, tail number 63-7770 to Maxwell Air Force Base.

The next significant date in wing history was the following Monday. On August 14, 1973, Lt. Col. Jonathan Gardner became the ninth commander of the 908th.

Also on August 14, but in 2023, the wing announced its Quarterly Awards winners for the second quarter of 2023.

The next day, the wing remembered another historical moment. On August 15, 1945, the 357th Bomb Squadron flew its last mission of World War II.

On Wednesday, August 23, 2023, the wing highlighted Tech. Sgt. Cecilia Nguyen, a tiltrotor/helicopter mechanic assigned to the 908th Maintenance Squadron who was recently recognized as the 908 AW’s noncomissioned officer of the Quarter for the first quarter of 2023.

The 908th has four significant events take place on August 24. First, on August 24, 1992, after Hurricane Andrew devastated South Florida, more than 90 members from the wing went to Homestead Air Reserve Base, Florida, and provided support with relief mission flights. Five aircraft were used on 34 missions, flying 78 sorties over 194 hours, moving 196 passengers and 254.6 tons of cargo.

Then on August 24, 1996, Col. William P. Kane became 17th commander of the 908th, and the wing provided aircraft and maintenance personnel to support Operation Coronet Oak in Panama.

Lastly on August 24, 2002, four C-130s and 120 crew members and maintainers deployed to Muniz Air National Guard Base, Puerto Rico, for the annual Coronet Oak mission. They supported operations in the Caribbean, Latin America, and the northern portions of South America.

On August 30, 2005, a day after Hurricane Katrina devastated the coast of Louisiana and Mississippi, the 908th Airlift Wing immediately sent two C-130s and crews to support the effort. The 908th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron also responded by sending 16 members, divided into two crews and a management cell.

Also on August 30, but in 2023, the wing highlighted the Air Force Specialty Code 2T3X1, otherwise known as mission generation vehicular equipment maintenance specialists.

On August 31, 2005, the wing flew its first mission in support of Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, transporting 62 elderly residents of the Gulfport Air Force retirement village to Andrews AFB, Maryland.