On-Call Composite Wing

Date Submitted: 09/08/2015
Author Info: Mark (Mountain Home, ID - USA) 
Occupation: Government/Military
Lived in NY on 9.11.01?: No
Knew someone who perished?: No

I was on active-duty with the Air Force at Mountain Home AFB. At the time, we were an “Air Intervention Composite Wing.” We had 5 squadrons of aircraft: B-1B, KC-135R, F-16CJ Wild Weasel, F-15E Strike Eagle and F-15C Air Superiority jets. I was an E-8 in the Propulsion Flight, assisting with managing all the jet engines of these aircraft.

The first word we received was from an engine manager across the hall. A Cessna had flown into one of the WTC Towers. Approximately half hour later, the same guy came in and said, “A second one just hit the other tower and they’re both airliners.” I looked at the Chief and he looked at me. I followed the Engine Manager back to his office and said, “I need times on every single installed engine within the hour. That goes in the order book.”
The Chief and I met with our maintenance leaders in our own flight plus the flying squadrons and developed a plan. We were already healthy, but we were going to make the entire wing healthier. By the end of 11 Sep, we had a plan in place and initiated. We immediately prepared for war.

The next 8 days were a blur of long hours and little sleep. On 19 Sep, I climbed aboard a C-5 destined for Diego Garcia with the 34th Bomb Sq (B-1B’s). On Oct 8th, I was there when we commenced our opening attack on Kabul. We were joined by B-52’s and KC-10 tankers. They all, I mean all, took off rapidly on 8 Oct headed south. They formed up south of the island and came over at approximately 40K feet leaving contrails in a huge air armada. I recall thinking, “Those bastards [Taliban] haven’t a clue what’s headed their way right now.”


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