Alcide S. Benini, Charlie Brown, Bill
Bill Strickland, John Sadon, Les Hall, Everett "Fish" Herron, Phillip Ward,
Insert; Leslie L. Hall, (1963) during Operation Swift Strike
|| The McChord Airlifter
Sent by Tom Watson, dated 5 Oct. 1973
SEVERAL YEARS AGO (1968
to be exact), this reporter was fortunate enough to accompany a C-141 heavy
equipment drop supported by McChord’s Combat Control Team at the “Little Joe”
Drop Zone in Idaho.
Last week I accompanied
the team on their last personnel drop as a part of the 62d Military Airlift
Wing when they parachuted onto a drop zone at nearby Ft. Lewis That jump
completed an estimated eight year stay in the Pacific Northwest for the team.
Five of the remaining
10 team members jumped from their C-141 platform while other team members
manned the drop zone below.
Pictured Left; Sgt Carlos
Brannon, silhouetted by an early morning sunrise at Ft. Lewis, takes
his last wind direction reading to relay to the pilot of the C-141
bringing members of McChord's Combat Control Team to drop zone 20 Bravo
to make their last parachute jumps as members of the 62nd Military
By the time you read
this article, most of the 11 enlisted and two officer Combat Controllers will
have departed here for new assignments in such places as Charleston AFB, S.C.,
Norton AFB. Calif., Germany and Air Force Recruiting duty.
|Pictured Above; A
smoke grenade shows wind direction and marks Drop Zone 20 Bravo to the
C-141 carring the Combat Controllers as they make an initial pass over
the Ft Lewis drop zone.
Pictured Left; MSgt Walt Guyle braces himself in the door of a C-141 as
it approaches a drop zone at Ft. Lewis. Momentarrily a green
light on Sergeant Guyle's left will blink on, and he will hurtle
himself out the door.
THE, TWO MEN who are
going into recruiting. TSgt. Steve Weger and MSgt. Nick Genes, feel that not
only did they make their last jump here, but they also have made their last
military parachute jump.
Two other members of
the team, Capt. Ronald G. Wilson and MSgt. Walt Guyle have gone to the Naval
Air Station in Lakehurst, N.J., where they are attending the Navy Free-fall
While stationed here
with the 62d MAW the team participated in exercises such as FOCUS RETINA in
Korea in 1969, where they were the first Air Force Combat Control Team to
parachute in; ACID TEST in Alaska in 1970; DEEP FURROW in Europe in 1970 and
71; and FREEDOM VAULT in Korea in 1972, when they "dropped" the
Army's 82d Airborne Division.
WHEN NOT FLYING
around the world in support of exercises, the team, during peak periods,
supported some 120 heavy equipment drops per month as a part of training wing
aircrews in aerial delivery at such places as Moses Lake in eastern Washington
and the aforementioned Idaho location.
This was in addition
to personnel drops and the dropping of regular training bundles. Anyone who has
flown or supported these missions in some other way knows that this involves a
lot of flying time and a lot of hours of preparation and recovery.
The Military Airlift
Command, according to team commander Captain Wilson, has reduced the mission of
four of it’s six "drop" bases and consolidated it into two bases -
one on the east coast and one on the west coast.
MAC has also
activated one new Combat Control Team at Altus AFB, Okla., according to Captain
Wilson. He said that team will conduct
initial C-141 drop qualifications for new aircrew members.
|Above; SSgt. Dick
Brawley, left, and Capt. Ronald G. Wilson talk with SMSgt. W.V. Mendes
of McChord's Aircraft Standardization Evaluation section as they wait
their turn to parachute onto a drop zone at Ft. Lewis
||Above; A last
equipment check before jumping out of a low flying C-141 is always a
good idea. Here, SSgt. Dick Brawley, right checks the parachute
worn by Capt. Ronald G. Wilson prior to their last jup as part of
McChord's Combat Control Team.
Above; GREEN LIGHT - GO!
SSgt. Dick Brawley takes
the green light signal and propels himself out and away from the
aircraft as he makes his last jump as part of McChord's Combat Control
MCCHORD WILL RETAIN
four crew members in each crew position qualified to support aerial delivery
missions. Their proficiency training will now be done at Norton AFB, according
to Captain Wilson.
Combat Control Teams
are required to parachute out of a C-141 aircraft once a month as part of MAC
directed training. They are also
required to make one "pay" jump per quarter. Biannually the entire team is required to
deploy for two day and one night missions in which they must perform their
entire mission - such as "securing" and setting up a drop zone and
making heavy equipment and personnel drops.
ACCORDING TO CAPTAIN
WILSON, "An Air Force Combat Controller knows the entire operation of a
personnel drop. He knows the ground end of it as well as the aircraft end of
it. He is also a qualified parachute
packer. Combat Controllers are very
professional in their approach to jumping.
Those men who jumped
their last jump here last week have tallied more than 1,500 jumps between them during
their careers. They are all master
parachutist, and all agreed that their last jump “was a good one – it was up
and out.” That in layman’s language
means that the mission was short and sweet.
Pictured Left; TSgt.
Steve Weger fights his parachute after a perfect landing at a Ft. Lewis
drop zone. Sergeant Weger believes he not only made his last jump
here as a member of the 62nd Military Airlift Wing's Combat
Control Team, but that he made his last military jump, period. He
plans on becoming an Air Force recruiter.
AND SO A CHAPTER in
McChord’s history comes to an end. The
blue-bereted men of the Combat Control Team have scattered to the four
winds. Special thanks to Tom Watson for supplying this
artical and pictures.
U.S. Air Force photos
by TSgt. Dave Small and SSgt. Michael Storey
Above, 1973; Ernie
Livingston, Carlos Brannon, Mike Welding, Nick Genes, Gene Hoover.
||Capt. Ron Wilson and SSgt Dick Brawley
"First There, Last Out!
Front Row; Walter Guyle, George Godley, Tom McBriarty, Dick
Brawley, Tom Watson, and Ron Wilson.
We're Back, Can't keep a good thing away.......
James Howell, Dave
Barton, Carl Lynn, Wayne "Dink" Dalton, Steve Stipp, Dick
Brawley, Donald E. Brown; 62 MAW/CC, Major
General Kellim, ?, Jimmie Jay; Wing DO, Gus Rhinehart, and Larry
Choate ***** Center
Row; Tony Tino,
Dale Anderson, John Serano, Clark Alberty, Rex Evitts, and Tom
Fagerson ***** Front
Row; Skip Pierce,
Wayne Fuiten, Jim "Peachie" Keen, Dave Pearson, Fran Oster,
and the ear next to Fran belongs to One Striper, Jack McMullen
Clark Alberty, Dale
Anderson, Bud Gonzalez, Rex Evitts, Scott Winneker, Dave Pearson,
Callahan, Wayne "Dink" Dalton, Dick Brawley, Rick Quigley, Tony Tino,
Mike "Mouse" Lisk, Derek Lyske, and Wayne "Spook" Fuiten
Dink with M-79
Insert; Mike Callahan, Mike McReynolds (TDY), and Derek
Lyske; take me for a skydive, Mount Rainier in the background. We
did a three way and then Derek pulled me in and gave me a big ole
sloppy kiss, then spun me away; I bought the beer that night.
R.I.P. my brothers!
Combat Control Photographer, Gene Johnson (pictured below) shoots;
Ken Ford, Dale Anderson, Carl Lynn, and Dave Barton
Below; McChord AFB CCT make Total Solar
Eclipse Jump, 26th Feb 1979
Tom Fagerson, Dick Brawley, Dale Anderson, Dave Pearson, Clark
Alberty, Carl Lynn, Tony Tino, Rich Quigley, John Serrano, Fran Oster,
Choate, Lou Brabham, Jack McMullen, Wayne
"Spook" Fuiten, and Ken Ford
A little about Spook; Served 3 tours in SEA while with the Commando Weather Team and did some work for
HUMINT so Clyde Howard gave me the name "Spook". Instructor at CCS when it was
at Little Rock 72-73 before cross training to CCT.
Above 1978, Davey's Separation Party; Dick Brawley, Davey Pearson, Gus Rhinehart, and Mike Callahan
McChord AFB CCT make Total Solar
Eclipse Jump, 26th Feb 1979
O. Brabham, Larry D. Choate, Leslie R. Evitts, Emmett F. Pierce,
Francis W. Oster, Jack A. Moyer, David A. Barton, Wilfred J. Serrano,
William C. Kemper, William L. Farrar III, Wayne E. Fuiten, Clark A.
Alberty, Anthony F. Tino, Dale L. Anderson, Jack J. McMullen, and Scott