Air Force and Navy members greet the Pacific Fleet’s C-37A upon its arrival at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, Nov. 18. The plane as well as the Navy’s Executive Transport Detachment moved to Hickam, where it will work with the Air Force's 65th Airlift Squadron that flies similar planes for the Pacific Command and Pacific Air Forces commanders. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Erin Smith)
by Senior Airman Erin Smith
15th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
11/29/2006 - HICKAM AIR FORCE BASE, Hawaii (AFPN) -- The arrival here of the Navy's Executive Transport Detachment from nearby Kaneohe Marine Corps Air Station Nov. 25 signals the successful integration of flying missions between two services.
The Navy C-37A business jet replaces the modified P-3 aircraft the unit used to fly.
The reception of the aircraft by the 15th Airlift Wing illustrates the support for joint operations, according to Navy Lt. Cdr. Brian Rosgen, officer in charge of the Executive Transport Detachment for the Pacific.
"It is really nice to see that we're all working together, and it's been great," he said. "They've been a lot of help."
The detachment will share office and hangar space with the 65th Airlift Squadron, which also operates a C-37A. The Navy aircraft will also be maintained by the same Gulfstream contractors who maintain the 65th AS aircraft. This integration makes this the first unit at Hickam not only to share office space, but a similar mission and aircraft with the Navy, helping lay the foundation for the future integration of Hickam and Pearl Harbor NAS.
"You'd be hard-pressed to find a unit on Hickam or Pearl Harbor more suited for this type of cross-service integration," said Lt. Col. Robert Howe, the 65th Airlift Squadron commander. "We share very similar customers, same aircraft types -- and most importantly, the same no-fail mission focus. When you get right down to it, we have far more similarities than differences."
The Executive Transport Detachment will consist of 24 pilots and enlisted aircrew members. They join the aircrew members from the 65th AS, which employs more than 50 pilots, flight engineers, communication system operators, flight attendants and administrative personnel.
The squadron routinely flies more than 200 distinguished visitor missions each year to locations around the world and has hosted such dignitaries such as former President George H. W. Bush.
"It doesn't really change the mission, it just expands it," said Col. Jeffery Stephenson, the 15th AW vice commander. "It truly adds to the total force and makes a joint team."