TRAVIS AFB, Calif. – It won’t be Santa’s reindeer streaking across Northern California skies Dec. 21 but tankers and cargo aircraft from Travis. The base will conduct its first-ever “mass” aircraft launch starting around 10 a.m.
Travis will be launching up to six KC-10s, two C-17 Globemasters and a C-5 Galaxy cargo aircraft in succession. Once airborne, the aircraft will fly in formation then separate to fly normal low-level and air refueling routes. At that point, residents should not notice anything different than on a normal day of flying, said Lt. Col. Jeffrey Cooper, 60th Operations Squadron commander.
"This ‘mass’ launch will give the 60th and 349th Air Mobility Wing’s operations, maintenance and support folks a chance to train together on a larger scale than normal,” said Colonel Cooper. The maintenance squadron rarely gets the opportunity to generate, launch and recover so many aircraft at one time, he said.
More than 330 training events will be conducted during the flights. The 615th Contingency Response Wing at Travis will control the C-17 aircraft during landing exercises.
The 60th AMW is the largest air mobility organization in the Air Force and handles more cargo and passengers than any other U.S. military terminal. The wing operates and maintains C-5 and C-17 transport aircraft along with KC-10 aerial refueling aircraft that can fly peacetime and combat support missions anywhere in the world as directed by the Department of Defense.