Sixth Airlift Service Conducts Second Annual Orientation Flight
More than 30 Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst employees and spouses attended the 6th Airlift Squadron’s second annual spouse orientation flight May 19 at the base. The orientation flight included a mission brief, squadron tour, lunch, C-17A Globemaster III tour and orientation flight over the Jersey Shore.
The 6th AS team shared their appreciation for the spousal support by ensuring the spouses got the best possible experience during the day. Col. John Roscoe, 305th Air Mobility Wing Operations Group commander, welcomed the spouses whose significant others represented the 305th Maintenance Group, the 305th Operations Group, the AMC Test and Evaluation Squadron and the 87th Air Base Wing.
Lt. Col. Doug Hall, 6th AS commander, greeted the spouses next by thanking them for their support. “This event is a small way of thanking you spouses for the priceless support you provide,” Hall said to the spouses prior to the mission brief.
Capt. Dan Schone, 6th AS director of staff, provided the flight brief, giving the spouses insight into what a typical pre-flight brief looks like in the 6th AS. The brief included various essential mission details such as a map of the scheduled flight plan and weather forecast, to name a few. Tours of the facility in Bldg. 2202 followed the mission brief. Members of the 6th AS divided the spouses into two groups and showed them where equipment is checked out, where the squadron offices are located and where briefings are held. The tour guides invited the spouses to ask questions during the tour to become more familiar with the squadron.
The spouses asked various questions about the squadron ranging from where the name “Bully Beef” came from to why military aircraft must obey the same Federal Aviation Administration requirements as commercial airliners. Spouses took photos of the aircraft prior to the flight. For many spouses this flight was an inside glimpse into what their significant others do on a daily basis. “It’s my dream,” said Claudia Myers, spouse of Master Sgt. Mark Myers, 305th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron production superintendant. “My husband is working for this airplane, so later I can tell the kids ‘daddy works with this.’ You don’t get the chance to do that often.”
Many of the spouses joked when they saw the envelopes containing motion sickness bags on their seats as they boarded the C-17, but as the flight took off, the first-time C-17 flyers began to realize the need for the bags. The aircrew acted professionally with the motion-sick spouses offering cockpit seating to those who felt very sick. Many of the spouses hope to participate in the event in the future, even with sickness prevailing. Mollie Boonstra, wife of Senior Master Sgt. Steve Boonstra, 305th AMXS lead production superintendant, enjoyed the flight and said she will do it again if there is less turbulence.
Boonstra, native of Lake Hopatcong, N.J., put her balance to the test as soon as it was safe to walk around the aircraft. Though she stumbled a little with the bouts of turbulence, she enjoyed the flight and the insider’s look into what her husband’s work days are like. “My favorite part of the day was seeing what our husbands do all day and to see the whole package come together,” she said.
The flight traveled over the Atlantic Ocean along the Jersey Shore and made a safe return home to JB MDL.
The crew assured the tour group upon landing not to be worried, but the cargo door of the aircraft was going to open to give the spouses an interesting perspective of the flight line. As Hall and Schone piloted the aircraft back to its parking spot, participants took in the view, perhaps the first time seeing the world through their spouses’ eyes.