908th AW September 2023 in Review

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

The 908th Airlift Wing had an eventful month of September.

The wing remembered an event that took place on Sept. 4, 1977, when Col. Robert Q. Head became the 12th commander of the 908th.

Then on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2023, the wing congratulated 11 members who promoted.

The next day the wing remembered two significant events from its history. First, on Sept. 6, 1994, the 908th Airlift Group flew 53 Cuban migrants from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to their new temporary home in Panama.  This was the first of many flights in the airlift operation over the coming days. A 908th C-130 was prominently featured on the front page of the New York Times.

Then on Sept. 6, 2008, the 908th sent 51 members to Muniz Air National Guard Base, Puerto Rico to support Coronet Oak.

On the same day but in the present, the wing released an article welcoming the new Deputy Commander, Col. Michael Bennett, who had only been with the wing for five weeks at that point.

On Friday the wing remembered that on Sept. 8, 2005, 15 members from the 908th Security Forces Squadron were flown to New Orleans to augment security there in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

On that same day, but in the present, the wing released Col. Craig Drescher’s final commentary as the wing commander.

The ninth of September was a busy day for the 908th both in the past and in the present.

On Sept. 9, 1994, the 908th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron was constituted.

Then on Sept. 9, 1995, The Autaugaville drop zone was dedicated 12 miles west of Maxwell Air Force Base. 908th C-130s dropped paratroopers from the 20th Special Forces Group, Alabama National Guard to inaugurate the field.

Then running from Sept. 9 to 15, 2023, the 25th Aerial Port Squadron loaded more than 1 million pounds of cargo and 200 personnel in preparation for the 20th Special Forces Group of the Alabama Army National Guard’s deployment to the Middle East.

On Sept. 9, 2023, The 908th Aeromedical Staging Squadron had a change of command ceremony which saw the unit say farewell to outgoing commander, Col. Stephen Secraw, and welcome new incoming commander, Col. Katie Nason. Immediately following that ceremony, Secraw had a retirement ceremony closing his military career.

Then, later that day, the 908th hosted a town hall featuring the 22nd Air Force Command Team, consisting of Commander, Brig. Gen. Melissa Coburn, and Command Chief, Chief Master Sgt. Chin Cox.

Following the town hall, the wing then had a change of command ceremony which saw the wing say farewell to outgoing commander, Col. Craig W. Drescher, and welcome new incoming commander, Col. Christopher K. Lacouture, as the 27th commander of the 908th Airlift Wing.

Then, approximately 30 minutes after the change of command ceremony, Drescher closed his 34-year military career with a retirement ceremony.

On Sunday, Sept. 10, 2023, 908th Command Chief, Chief Master Sgt. Kristen Maloney, released her first commentary as the wing’s command chief, focusing on thanking Drescher for all that he has done for the wing and then welcoming Lacouture to Alabama’s only Air Force Reserve wing.

Later that same day, the wing welcomed 12 new members to its ranks.

On Sept. 15, 1995, following Hurricane Marilyn, the 908th flew numerous humanitarian missions to Caribbean islands affected by the storm.

On Sept. 20, 2023, the wing highlighted the Air Force Specialty Code 5J0X1, otherwise known as paralegals.

On Sept. 21, 2007, Aircraft, air crew, maintainers, flight nurses, and medical technicians from the 908th began serving for a year as part of the 775th Expeditionary Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron at Andrews AFB, Maryland. Their primary mission was to transport war-injured patients to care facilities near their homes or permanent duty stations.

On Friday, Sept. 22, 2023, the wing finished a weeklong partnership with the U.S. Army’s Montgomery Recruiting Battalion and the U.S. Army Golden Knights demonstration parachute team.

On the following Monday and Tuesday, Sept. 25 and 26, 2023, the wing highlighted the innovative approach that the 908th Maintenance Group took to enhance readiness via block training.

On Sept. 27, 2023, the wing highlighted 1st Lt. Terry Ruff, director of operations for the 908th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, who was recently recognized as the 908th AW’s company grade officer of the quarter for the first quarter of 2023.

To close out the month, the wing remembered that on Sept. 30, 1966, the 908th Consolidated Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, which would later become the 908th Maintenance Squadron, was activated at Brookley Air Force Base, in Mobile, Alabama.

VIDEO | 02:07 | Enhancing Readiness: 908th MXG implements innovative block training approach