Local

July 12, 2013

Team March comes together to bring birds home

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Staff Sgt. Joe Davidson

Staff Sgt. Steve Michener, 452nd LRS and Staff Sgt. Howard Canillas, 912th AGE unstrap lighting units and generator equipment from a 40-foot trailer used to transport the equipment on a return back to March ARB from Ontario International Airport. The operation, approximately a month long, was necessary to allow vital March ARB runway repairs to be completed.

In mid-June three KC-135 Tankers from the 336th Air Refueling Squadron were deployed to Ontario International Airport to enable a major runway repair operation to begin here at March. Team March combined their efforts to ensure the operation went smooth and without issues.

“In typical Team March fashion, the 452 LRS-APSF combined with elements from the 50th and 56th Aerial Port Squadrons quickly adapted to jointly inspect critical support cargo for the sustained support of our KC-135s at Ontario,” said Senior Master Sgt. James Zubor, Air Terminal Manager at March. “Additionally, working with the 729th ALS we successfully loaded every cargo piece on a single C-17 thereby saving substantial taxpayer dollars. Once again this showed that LRS combined with other organizations on the base can make Team March work successfully together.”

Once in place at Ontario, air and maintenance crews for all phases of the aircraft launch process were in place to work what could potentially be a 24/7 operation.

“The people at Ontario Airport were very accommodating,” said Chief Master Sgt. Patrick Gates, 752nd AMXS Maintenance Superintendent. “We carried out our work in two shifts for the entire time we were there in Ontario and I just can’t say enough about the fantastic support provided by the team at Ontario International Airport.”

The 729th Squadron assisted with the operation again by flying a mission to take on fuel from the KC-135s returning to March. The refueling aircraft were apparently carrying an excess of fuel for their return back to March.

In February, 2011, Air Force Reserve Command funded a significant runway improvement project for March ARB. The contract for this mission critical design-build project was awarded by the Los Angeles District Army Corps of Engineers in the sum of $16M.

March ARB has a single runway to support both its military mission and the commercial use by the March Joint Powers Authority. The maintenance for the airfield was completed which included overlaying asphalt pavement on the runway. By August, 2013 the project will have replaced what was fundamentally a 1950’s era airfield lighting system with a modern code compliant lighting system including: taxiway edge lights; computerized operating system; and, a new beacon light at the highest point on March ARB.

The return operations back to March ARB occurred the week of March 1. Two 40-foot tractor trailers and a Tilt-Bed Wrecker returned to March carrying all of the support equipment from Ontario Airport. The Wrecker was used as a loading dock at the airport to assist with the loading of equipment onto the trailers.

A not so typical operation carried out successfully by the many Team March members.




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