Wednesday, March 24, 2010

MC-12 aircrews complete 2,000th combat sortie

MC-12 aircrews complete 2,000th combat sortie: "MC-12 Liberty aircrews assigned to the 362nd Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron completed their 2,000th combat sortie recently from Joint Base Balad.

The MC-12 program took off in the fall as Airmen flew the first combat mission in the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft that supports coalition and joint ground troops in operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.

'A year ago the commander and I were learning how to start the new aircraft, and now the program just flew its 2,000th mission,' said Capt. Ryan Woodman, a 362nd ERS mission pilot. 'Given what this program accomplishes for the troops on the ground, it is a great feeling. We are the eyes in the sky for those guys. We are able to communicate and help them with their mission on the ground.'

The MC-12, which allows the crew to support the ground troops, is a tactical ISR aircraft. The plane is operated by two pilots in the front of the fixed-wing aircraft and two enlisted members who gather intelligence by operating a sensor, a camera, located on the bottom of the plane. Having people in the aircraft allow adjustments to be made quickly."