908th Airlift Wing begins four month Coronet Oak rotation
Tech. Sgt. Jason Carmack, Tech. Sgt. Otis Luke and Maj. Marla Powell are among the 908th Airlift Wing reservists departing on C-130 Hercules aircraft Saturday for Muniz Air National Guard Base in San Juan, Puerto Rico, to support Coronet Oak operations. (Air Force photo/Lt. Col. Jerry Lobb)
908th Airlift Wing begins four month Coronet Oak rotation


8/26/2011 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- A group of 908th Airlift Wing reservists left in a C-130 Hercules aircraft Saturday for Muniz Air National Guard Base in San Juan, Puerto Rico, to support Coronet Oak operations.

Coronet Oak is an all-Reserve and Guard operation, providing airlift support in Central and South America. The 908th has supported this operation several times a year since 1983. This deployment begins an extended period of support by the wing's aircrews and maintenance personnel. They will provide continuous support through November with rotating groups of Reservists. Most of the departing group will return in about two weeks.

"Coronet Oak deployments provide airlift to U.S. embassies, and other government agencies throughout the region. For Reserve and Guard units, it is an excellent opportunity to train people while providing much needed airlift service," said Lt. Col. Jerry Lobb, 908th Airlift Wing public affairs officer.

The beginning of the exercise was not without complications. Hurricane Irene, which tore through the Caribbean earlier this week, caused the temporary evacuation of 908th aircraft to Macdill AFB, Fla., to avoid the storm, according to Lobb. Most of the personnel stayed in Puerto Rico and have been working on generator power since the storm caused power outages on the island. Lobb said he expects operations to quickly return to normal.

The 908th is the state's only Air Force reserve unit. The unit operates a fleet of nine C-130H Hercules cargo aircraft. Known as the "Workhorse of the Air Force," this plane can carry 42,000 pounds of cargo, 92 troops, 64 paratroops or 74 litter patients. It can fly up to 386 mph with a range of 5,200 miles.

Courtesy of 908th Airlift Wing