Bagram's Liberty reaches 100,000 hours milestone
By Tech. Sgt. Shawn McCowan, 455th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
/ Published September 21, 2012
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan -- The Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance community's 4th Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron introduced the MC-12 Liberty to Bagram Airfield in December 2009. Not long after aircraft number "623" became the first Liberty to touch Bagram soil, the squadron earned the reputation of being the "busiest" at Bagram. True to their reputation, 4th ERS and the MC-12s celebrated a seemingly unbelievable milestone.
When aircraft "623" touched down on September 11, 2012, 4th ERS logged its 100,000th flying hour in less than three years.
While the first 50,000 hours took the squadron nearly two years to accomplish, the remaining 50,000 hours was completed in only one year.
Lt. Col. Jeffrey Alexander, 4th ERS commander, helped put perspective on the accomplishment.
"100,000 hours is huge. That's about 11 and a half years-worth of flying for the MC-12s in two years and nine months," said Alexander.
During their tenure at Bagram, 4th ERS MC-12s and aircrews have provided ISR support to ground forces in Afghanistan, employing a range of sensors and equipment to give coalition forces the information they need to complete their mission.
Not only did 4th ERS aircraft reach 100,000 flying hours, it did so with zero maintenance cancellations while at Bagram.
The 455th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Commander, Lt Col Rudy Cardona, credits the MC-12's all-contractor maintenance team's balanced professionalism.
"This is a fantastic milestone by the entire Project Liberty team here at Bagram Airfield. The MC-12 maintenance team's ability to focus resources ensured a balance in delivering mission requirements while executing timely maintenance actions," said Cardona.
After the team paused for the brief celebration of their achievement, the maintenance team returned to their scheduled work and "Aircraft 623" was made ready for hour 100,001.