December Commander's View
By Col. Paul J. Hargrove, 146th Airlift Wing
/ Published December 01, 2012
CHANNEL ISLANDS AIR NATIONAL GUARD STATION, Calif. -- We have officially entered the holiday season with the Thanksgiving weekend just passing and I hope all of you had time to enjoy some much needed time off. Christmas and New Years are right around the corner and before we know it, 2013 will be here. This Sunday of drill will be a combination Family Day, Hometown Heroes, and Christmas Party. Please bring your families out to the base on Sunday and enjoy the day.
This week the Operations Group is being inspected in their Aircrew Standard Evaluation Visit (ASEV) from Air Mobility Command evaluators. They will be taking checkrides during the local flying schedule and have been preparing for several months for the inspection. The inspectors will be riding along on our flights and checking to make sure our pilots and loadmasters follow USAF regulations. As always, please pass all customs and courtesies to our guests during their visit. I know the Ops Group will do well on this ASEV and I look forward to a good outbrief on their performance.
Our Operational Readiness Inspection (ORI) is scheduled for 27 October to 2 November 2013. We are paired with the 145 AW from Charlotte and are having initial meetings with them this week. In January, we will continue the preparation for the ORI by joining Charlotte at Gulfport, Mississippi for a command and control exercise. Charlotte will be having a deployed ORE during this time and we will send about 50 personnel to practice the C2 piece of the inspection. This will be the first of many exercises to get ready for the ORI. We plan on having a home station Operational Readiness Exercise (ORE) in April, which will be our first good test for the inspection. Please keep up on your ancillary training so this will not become a limiting factor when we get close to the ORI. We plan another ORE in August, which will either be deployed or home station. There is a possibility that our ORI could be home station, but we will not know until about 5 months out from the ORI. We need to continue to plan for a deployed ORI until this issue gets cleared up.
The C-130J simulator is continuing on track for completion in FY 2017. The 146th AW received funding for the program design a couple of weeks ago and is being set for bid soon. The location of the simulator is set for the grass area between the Operations building and aerial port. This is a $30 million dollar project and will be the first new construction at Channel Islands since our move here from Van Nuys in 1989. I expect the start of construction to start in FY 2015 and take about two years for completion.
Another project that is being considered is a C-130E static display to be set up on the base. We used to fly the C-130E model until 2006 and it was brought to my attention that the last three C-130es are being retired this year. Puerto Rico has the last three and we are researching the process to set up a static display with one of these aircraft. Aircraft 62-1842 is one of the three available and used to be one of our 16 C-130E models at Van Nuys and Channel Islands, before we transitioned to the C-130J. The static location being considered is to the right of the main gate as you enter the base. We are looking at how to get the aircraft to this location without destroying the base. It reminds me of the Space Shuttle move just completed through Los Angeles, but obviously to a smaller scale. I visited Charlotte a few months ago and saw their static display of a C-130H model. They did a very good job of setting up the pad and the surrounding area was very well done. The decision to pursue this project has not been decided yet, but I encourage you to give an opinion.
The annual Airman of the Year banquet will be in January and will be combined with the Army National Guard. This is a change from the past banquets and will be in Anaheim this time. The winners from the 146th AW have been announced and my congratulations go out to Senior Airman Teresa Luna, Staff Sgt. David Scalise, MSgt. Michael Stevens, and MSgt. Doug Marshall. Please join me in congratulating these fine airmen. I wish them luck in the state competition.
As we turn the page on another year, let me thank you all for the work that you do to help our community, state, and nation. The role that all of you play in the Air National Guard is vital to our ability to respond when needed. As we prepare for our next ORI, keep in mind that this inspection is also necessary for our wing to continue to provide our capabilities to all in need.
I'll see you this weekend.
Paul Hargrove, Col