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908 Tactical Airlift Group 357 Tactical Airlift Squadron Maxwell AFB, AL CREWS Pilot Maj Bob Corley LTC Wally Drage Copilot CPT Greg Heer 1LT Roger Wood Navigator 1Lt Mike Ricci CPT Jim Richburg Engineer SSG Shawn Manning MSG J. R. Melton Loadmaster TSG David Greer TSG Mike Mitchel Loadmaster SSG George Ramsey SSG Brent Solomon These crews were part of the initial group to leave Alconbury, UK, and proceed to the in- country beddown location at Sharjah, UAB. Three Aircraft carried five crews, 100 people and maintenance and supply equipment to sustain a three aircraft operation. The crews were placed into crewrest at apporximately 1900 hours with an expected alert time of 0700. Actual alert and departure didn't come until later in the evening, around 2300 hours. After flying for eleven hours with incredibly poor air traffic control communication, they arrived at Sharjah. At that time many habd been up for more than thirty hours. However, they had arrived at a "bare bones" operation and there was no time to rest. The hanger which they were to call home had not been used for seven years. There was no electricity, and only one primitive toilet for one houndred people. In spite of the stifling temperature (100 degrees at midnight) and the unexpectedly high humidity, they had to offload all three aircraft - by hand. There was no material handling equipment available. To make matters worse, the hanger had been infested by hundreds of pigeons for years, and the hanger floor was literally ankle-deep. Major Corley's crew did their share of off-load and clean-up, then entered crew rest in order to fly the first 94PTAS Reserve mission in-country. That night, because there weren't mattresses, they slept on the wire springs of their cots. Upon return from their mission, they became part of the workgroup that labored to prepare the location for the arrival of the remainer of the 94 PTAS. By the time the 94 PTAS redeployed, LTC Drage had flown the most sorties from the forward operating base and Major Corley's the second most.
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