The White Falcon


The White Falcon - 07.10.1983, Blaðsíða 4

The White Falcon - 07.10.1983, Blaðsíða 4
4 THE WHITE FALCON/October 7. 1983__________ C-118 Fire, from 1 The captain went on to express his plea- sure that the fire had not spread to the hangar or to the other aircraft parked in- side and that no personnel had been injured in the incident. Additionally, CAPT McVadon pointed out that, even if the plane never flies again, there is some salvagable equipment to put in the station's remaining C-118 aircraft. "We are going to step out smartly. I have discussed with my air operations officer and especially the air operations depart- ment people that we are going to do the best we can. We're hoping to get 131578 -- the other C-118 -- into the air in order to make the next scheduled EM&L trip." Air Force Security Chief Capt. Wally Lu- cas described the apprehension of the sus- pect at the scene. "Shortly after our per- sonnel called in the fire our flight chief, TSgt. Leonard Mica, called in some support personnel — one of our response teams. They were called in to search the area to see if they could find any evidence or per- sonnel who happened to be in the area. They came upon an individual who was acting sus- picious. When they approached him, he fled on foot. He was subsequently apprehended by our response team and turned over to Naval Station Security, who in turn, trans- ferred him to the Naval Investivative Ser- vice for questioning." Capt. Lucas had nothing but praise for the security team, who in his words, "used superior judgment" in not using their wea- pons to apprehend the individual. Further- more, he cited the quick-action by the Air Force security personnel at calling in the fire and in immediately alerting all people After viewing the charred interior of the Station C-118 aircraft» a fire marshal I from Norfolk has investigated and determined that the fire appears to have been intentionally set. The rapid response of the NATO Base Fire Department and other parties involved was instrumental in preventing further damage to the aircraft. (Photo by PH2 Mays) in the area -- an act which saved both liv- es and property. TSgt. Mica, the senior Air Force securi- ty person on the scene initially, credits other security personnel with contacting other agencies quickly to remove the other aircraft from the hangar. AlCs Ernest H. Campbell and Cecil E. White were, according to Mica, the first to turn in the fire call and they, along with other personnel from AWACS and Det. 14, joined together to pull the other aircraft out of the hangar and away from the danger present. (Additional details of the effort to save the other aircraft appears in the art- icle below.) Quick response saves other aircraft By Maj. Jack Warner, USAF 960th AWACS, Chief of Maintenance Duty within the Aircraft Generation Branch (AGB) of the 960th Airborne Warning and Control Squadron (AWACS) can be either extremely active or extremely quiet. The branch is responsible for providing main- tenance actions necessary to launch and re- cover alert E-3A and KC-135A aircraft. On Saturday morning at approximately 5:30, unknowingly to those on duty, the quietness of the day was about to turn into a crisis situation. The AGB alert mainten- ance team was biding their time in Hangar 885, Tower Two -- located between the alert E-3A and the Navy's "new" C-118. Suddenly the hangar's fire alarm system initiated. SSgts. Randall W. Jencks and Odell Bark- er Jr., Sgt. David A. Bink and SrA Dennis L. Nichols immediately hurried down the back stairs via the northeast AGB Tower Two stairwell to see what initiated the alarm system. Once they reached the ground floor, which exits into the C-118 bay, they saw flames leaping out of the C-118. They turn- ed around and relayed the "fire in the han- gar" alarm back up the stairs. Everyone, except for SSgt. Jencks, charg- 208,froml which became John Paul Jones' first naval command. Yank wouldn't consider it odd to have sailors of various racial backgrounds working together, but he would find it strange to see black officers. The idea of the U.S. Navy having 44 in- stallations in foreign countries and 13 in- stallations in U.S. territories would also be a mind-blower for Yank. He'd probably think he was actually in the Royal Navy. One thing Yank probably wouldn't find sur- prising is that many people come into the Navy today for some of the same reasons -- patriotism and adventure -- along with edu- cational opportunities, a reason that vir- tually didn't exist in his day. What would a contemporary sailor find in the U.S. Navy two centuries, or even less, down the road? Many changes undoubtedly will occur, but some of the best things, like camaraderie, will always stay the same. ed back up the stairs to evacuate the re- maining branch personnel. SSgt. Jencks ran over to the AGB support section and called the Naval Station Fire department. He and A1C Steven M. MacNaught, who was on duty in the support section, ran out into the E-3A hangar. Outside the hangar, Sgts. Paul E. Mathis Jr. and Kevin P. Jeffries, plus A1C Keith T. Vaden -- a TDY crew chief from the 2nd Bomb Wing at Barksdale AFB, LA -- were at the alert KC-135 heating its on-board, de- mineralized water. (Water is used for ex- tra engine thrust on takeoff). They noticed fire trucks responding to the east side of the hangar and soon saw the large, west hangar doors begin to open. Thinking that there might be an E-3A scramble in progress they drove the maintenance expeditor truck to the area of the opening doors. As they arrived smoke began to bellow out of the space between the opened doors. SSgt. Jef- fries jumped out of the truck and ran into the smoke-filled hangar to assist the as- sembled tow team members. At this point, TSgt. Michael L. Shipp had made the decision to try and back the E-3A out and was in the process of organiz- ing his tow team members while the hangar doors were being fully opened. The smoke continued to pour into the E-3A portion of the hangar. SSgt. Jeffries realized TSgt. Shipp needed someone in the E-3A to "ride brakes," so he climbed aboard and the tow was about ready to commence. During the period the tow team was or- ganizing, SSgt. Bryan J. Thompson, night supervisor of the maintenance coordination center, was busy notifying the fire depart- ment, Air Forces Iceland OPCON, and Central Security about the fire and the emergency tow of the E-3A. After he completed his notifications, SSgt. Thompson ran into the hangar and helped with the aircraft tow. The following personnel assisted in readying the aircraft for emergency towing from the hangar: TSgt. Michael L. Shipp, SSgts. Odell Barker Jr., Randall W. Jencks, Irene J. Moyle and Bryan J. Thompson, Sgts. Kevin P. Jeffries, David L. Scott and David A. Bink; SrAs Michael D. Wenrick and Dennis L. Nichols; and AlCs Steven M. MacNaught and John W. Horst. By this time the thick smoke had totally filled the E-3A hangar and made visibility extremely limited. SSgt. Jencks, the tow tractor operator, said "I couldn't see past the E-3A's number two engine. I just hoped the wingtips wouldn't hit anything." SSgt. Barker relayed messages between the tow team supervisor and SSgt. Jencks. The team towed the aircraft safely out of the hangar and backed it clear of danger. The entire operation, which normally takes 15 minutes, was performed in six minutes. Once the E-3A was stopped and chocked in place, TSgt. Shipp did a head count of craft and accounted for personnel on duty. Just to be safe, Lt. 960th commander, directed five members of the tow team to the local clinic for smoke inhalation. All were treated and released. These professional airmen of the 960th AWACS put their lives on the line and, without error, quickly and safely removed a $134-million national asset from potential destruction. Their ability to analyze the situation, use sound judgment and recall their past training allowed them to evacuate their fellow workers and the aircraft to safety. those at the air- all 960th AWACS Col. Gary Clark, %> $f tjtte ^falcon THE WHITE FALCON is published weekly by the Iceland Defense Force Public Affairs Office for military and civilian personnel and their dependents stationed in Iceland. It is printed by the Naval Station Print Shop with appropriated funds per NAVSO P-35. Opin- ions expressed are those of the writers and may not be official expressions of IDF, DOD or the U.S. Government. The White Falcon Office is located in Bldg. 936 on the NATO Base, Ext. 4612. RADM Ronald E. Narmi Commander Iceland Defense Force LCDR William W. Clyde Public Affairs Officer Mr. Mik Magnusson Assistant Public Affairs Officer YNSN Ralph Castillo Public Affairs Office Staff JOCS Bill Wedertz, Editor; J03 Dan Jackson; PH3 Jeff Wood; and J03 Chris Wesley. White Falcon Staff LI1 Ben Mosteller; Supervisor; SSgt. Dan Lo- van; LI2 Joe Faulk; LI3 Dan Murray; SN Stev- en Allen; SA Mike LeClere; and AA Christo- pher Ambler. Naval Station Print Shop

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The White Falcon

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