Wednesday, August 9, 2023

The U.S. Air Force tested how quickly it can respond to chaos and resupply remote islands in event of war in the Pacific

Air Force Times with a detailed write-up of the exercise, including the drugs authorized for it:

The 8,100-mile trek from South Carolina to Guam starts with a 10-hour flight to Honolulu, plus another seven hours to the southernmost point in the North Pacific. Getting to Japan or Australia takes even longer.

For comparison, the journey is farther than Afghanistan, and the Pacific lacks the network of large, U.S.-run bases across Europe and the Middle East where airmen are used to stopping for sleep and equipment. And though Air Mobility Command regularly travels around the Pacific, those flights are scheduled farther in advance and with fewer planes at once. 


C-17 maintainers from Travis AFB in California were stuck in Hawaii when their jet broke en route to Guam, said Master Sgt. David Moser, a Globemaster III maintenance superintendent. Another jet did reach Andersen, but airmen couldn’t offload their equipment or personal belongings because of confusion over biosecurity inspections. Then the team fell several hours behind schedule because jet fuel trucks were slow to arrive and carried less gas than those at Travis.


For Mobility Guardian, the command allowed its crews to take stimulants like Modafinil or sleeping pills to control their circadian rhythm. “Go” and “no-go” pills are commonly used in the combat and intelligence communities but have remained off-limits for mobility pilots.