Thursday, September 6, 2007

TOP STORY >>463 AG shows appreciation to Blytheville

Photos and story by
Airman 1st Class Steele Britton
314th Airlift Wing photographer

The 463rd Airlift Group gave back to the local community and employees of the Blytheville-Gosnell International Airport Authority with a display of combat exercises and C-130 capabilities last week.

Two C-130 static displays, briefs on air-drops, hands-on night vision opportunities and demonstrations of the Hercules training were all part of events that took place at the airport Aug 29.

“One of the main reasons we hold these visits is to recognize the support given to us by the Blytheville community and its citizens,” said Capt. Anthony Pattinson, 463 AG assistant chief of flight safety. “Our aircrew fly over this area several times a week and we want everyone here to be aware of what we’re doing and why.”

When the two Little Rock Air Force Base C-130 crews arrived in Blytheville, they were met by members of the local airport authority and about 200 Blytheville residents. The aircrew gave tours of the aircraft while 463 AG commander Col. Jeff Hoffer met with several distinguished guests.

Capt. Pattinson delivered a briefing on the group’s operations and on how the training conducted in Blytheville impacts combat readiness.

“Being able to fly over this area is vital to our training,” Capt. Pattison said. “But it is great for us to know that we have the support of this entire community.”

Along with briefings and tours, members of the community were able to observe night operations of the C-130H while using ANVIS 9C night vision goggles.

Additionally, airmen from the 314th Civil Engineer Squadron’s fire emergency services met with about 20 members of the local fire department. They provided the Blytheville fire fighters with training on what to expect in the event of a mishap at their airfield.

Afterward, the two departments worked together on better understanding safe rescuing procedures.
The trip to Blytheville is an annual event aimed at strengthening ties between the base and local communities.


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