MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota’s only Air Force Reserve Unit is showing off its capabilities of being combat ready at a moment’s notice.
The 934th Airlift Wing has flown missions in support of troops since 1963, and their skills are used more than ever today.
Members of the 934th are currently prepping for combat support missions. It is training at the highest level.
“This type of activity allows them to maintain their skill sets,” Lt. Col Ken Rogers said.
Their mission over the north shore is all about making sure the crew is ready in the event they are needed on active duty.
“We have to maintain a certain amount of training capability so that if the president or the Air Force calls up and says, ‘We need to send you someplace,'” Rogers said. “And every one of these guys is on 72-hour mobility notice.”
The 934th has been deployed numerous times in support of military and civilian missions across the globe.
The “Global Vikings” were recently recognized for their work on the war against terror.
“Our ops and maintenance folks have been deployed and they’ve done an absolutely outstanding work doing some of the initial air drops in theater,” Cmdr. Todd McCubbin said.
On this day, the five-person crew of navigator, loadmaster, flight engineer and two pilots make sure all systems are working.
They have to be ready for anything, from transporting troops and equipment, to evacuating the wounded. The C-130 they operate is a lifeline to many on the front lines.
These citizen-airmen go above and beyond the call of duty. They are unlike most reservists, working more than 100 days a year.
“We expect them out here about once a week to fly a mission, and then on the weekends and then the two weeks a year,” Rogers said.
They are a crew of highly-trained, motivated and dedicated Minnesotans who provide worldwide tactical airlift and combat support.
More than 300 members of the 934th Airlift Wing have been deployed to active duty so far this year. Many recently returned from a four-month mission overseas.