An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

94th Airlift Wing deploys in support of Rally in the Pacific 2023

  • Published
  • By Maj. Stephani Schafer
  • 94th Airlift Wing Public Affairs


Five C-130H3 Hercules aircraft departed Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga., Sept. 8, to participate in the 22nd Air Force led exercise Rally in the Pacific 2023, in which Reserve Airmen will operate in and around the islands of Hawaii and Guam throughout September 2023.

While this may have looked like a typical training formation flight, it was much more than that.

This was the largest launch of 94th Airlift Wing aircraft in recent history, and it required months of planning and close coordination from dozens of Airmen from across Air Force Reserve Command to ensure flawless execution.

During the past few months, men and women from across the 94th AW, the big Square A, headquartered at Dobbins ARB, have committed themselves to ensure they are trained, developed, and ready to continue the mission at home as well as the exercise.

The nearly 100 Airmen slated to deploy were notified earlier this year by Unit Deployment Managers, whose primary responsibility is to conduct all administrative and readiness items necessary to ensure Airmen are prepared to deploy on time to support whatever mission they are assigned.

Following their notification, and particularly in the days leading up to the deployment, Airmen and UDMs worked in lock-step with logistics readiness planners, medical, and other units to ensure they were equipped and ready to leave on time.

Medical personnel at the 94th Aeromedical Staging Squadron supported the deployment by scrubbing individual medical readiness requirements one-by-one and hosting extended service hours to allow Reservists time to schedule and complete medical readiness items.

“Medical readiness is key because it assures commanders and individuals that they are fit and healthy to complete the tasks that will be required during their deployment,” said Master Sgt. Stacy Beverly, 94th ASTS Flight Chief. “The last thing we want is for an Airman to find out on their way out the door, or even worse, after they’ve left, that a serious medical issue has come up – we’re here to make sure nothing like that happens.”

In the weeks leading up to Rally in the Pacific departure, the 94th ASTS reviewed, cleared and processed 227 members. This included administering immunizations, physical and mental health assessments, dental exams, medical waivers and more.

After all readiness items were complete and immediately prior to departure, all Airmen were required to process through a Pre-Deployment Function line to ensure they are properly equipped with valid identification, immunizations, dog tags, records of emergency data and other required deployment documentation.

“The PDF line is a final stop for deployers to make sure they have everything that will be required when they arrive at their deployed location,” said Lt. Col. Renata Turner, 94th Mission Support Group Commander. “These items ensure not only the Airmen are properly processed prior to departure but that they have done the necessary work to make sure their families are taken care of while they are gone. This is the last opportunity they have to get their needs taken care of.”

But individual readiness items aren’t the only things required to execute an aircraft launch of this magnitude.

To ensure the aircraft could launch on time, 94th Maintenance Group Airmen conducted more than 100 hours of aircraft and structural maintenance, corrected 17 safety discrepancies, and repaired items such as fuel tank and engine oil leaks, replaced windows, repaired landing gear struts, changed aileron boost packs and more – all during the Labor Day weekend, and all to execute the mission on time. Ultimately, the group readied five aircraft, two of which were deemed fully mission capable with zero safety discrepancies, an astonishing feat for aircraft maintenance.

“This was a perfect example of teamwork and resilience from the Big Square A maintenance team,” said Lt. Col. Randolph Gantt, 94th MXG Deputy Commander. “No one complained about working late, working long hours, or working when it was hot. In the end we had seven or eight maintainers launching each jet because they were proud of their work and wanted to see the mission succeed.”

What’s even more spectacular about this deployment is that, due to the age of the Wing’s aircraft, parts are oftentimes not as readily available as they would be for other aircraft in the AFRC inventory. Without hesitation, the 94th MXG saw this challenge as an opportunity to be innovative. The group leveraged its partnership with Lockheed Martin to acquire parts, some of which had been declared non-procurable, to ensure aircraft readiness and enable the Airmen to deploy ready and on time.

“It was a huge win for our maintainers to leverage the relationship with Lockheed Martin to ensure mission success,” said Senior Master Sgt. Max Cochran, 94th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Superintendent. “This cooperation further enabled effective cohesiveness between the maintenance squadrons to accomplish mission-essential tasks and conduct isochronal inspections prior to deployment.” 

With Airmen processed, aircrew on stand-by, and planes fixed, a few pieces must still be finalized before takeoff.

The 94th Logistics Readiness Squadron was responsible for creating the cargo load plan and checking to ensure all items were appropriately logged, accounted for, and palletized. In all, logisticians packed 11 pallets of equipment and supplies totaling 23 short tons.

Once supplies were loaded, air transportation specialists from 80th Aerial Port Squadron worked alongside 700th Airlift Squadron loadmasters to properly load all palletized equipment onto the aircraft.

“Our supply team worked seamlessly with maintenance, aerial port and other units to ensure a successful cargo deployment,” said Master Sgt. Donna Angarita, 94th Mission Support Group Logistics Plans Superintendent. “We were the lead Installation Deployment Readiness Cell for RITP23 and were responsible for assisting the 22nd Air Force planning logistics and aerial port of embarkation requirements for the exercise.”

Once the final pieces were in place, deployers loaded onto the aircraft and aircrew conducted final checks waiting for air traffic controllers to approve them for launch.

Once they reach their destination, the Big Square A Airmen will work alongside hundreds of other Reserve Citizen Airmen to execute RITP23.

“Overall, the team never gave up, pushed through challenges, and got out of town on time, ready and prepared to help make Rally a success,” said Col. Michael Parks, 94th AW Commander. “This was a whole of Wing effort and proof that our Airmen are both ready now and transforming for the future.”