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NEWS | June 16, 2011

Outstanding Airmen, civilians participate in C-17 incentive flight

By Airman 1st Class Jared Trimarchi Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

Thirty two Airmen and two civilians from the 437th Airlift Wing and the 628th Air Base Wing participated in a quarterly incentive flight June 15 flying from Joint Base Charleston - Air Base to Joint Base Charleston - Northfield approximately 80 miles away.

Participants were chosen based on their outstanding job performance, said 1st Lt. Adam Ferek, 15th Airlift Squadron pilot and officer in charge of personnel for the flight.

"The incentive flight was a way for the base to show its appreciation for all of the hard work and dedication displayed by the Airmen and civilians who work to make our missions successful," he said. "Without them, JB CHS would not be able to meet the everyday demands of our operations."

The flight was a training mission for two pilots from the 15th Airlift Squadron.

Participants received an early morning safety briefing by Lieutenant Ferek.

Although many of the Airmen who participated in the incentive flight maintain C-17s or load cargo, most of them had never flown on one.

Airman 1st Class Michael Jones, an aerospace ground equipment journeyman from the 437th Maintenance Squadron, said he's only seen the inside of a C-17 once.

"The Air Expo 2011 was my first time inside a C-17, but this was my first time as a passenger," he said.

Two of the youngest Airmen on the flight got to experience taking off from the view of a pilot.

"It was the best thing I have done so far while in the Air Force," said Airman 1st Class Cameron Corricelli, an air transportation journeyman from the 437th Aerial Port Squadron. "It was simply amazing."

Approximately 20 minutes after takeoff, the C-17 began its descent to JB CHS - Northfield.

While at Northfield, the participants de-planed and got to experience watching C-17s take off and land from the inside of an air control tower.

On the journey back to JB CHS - Air Base, the participants were showing off their pictures they had taken of the day's experience.

"Overall everything went really well," Lieutenant Ferek said. "The weather was beautiful, there was no turbulence and everyone had a great time. Incentive flights give people a chance to step away from the day-to-day operations and see first-hand what other Airmen do every day to support our mission."

Airman 1st Class Maechelle Shuler, from the 628th Air Base Wing legal office, was one of the Airmen who got to watch the landing from the cockpit.

"This is my first time flying inside of a C-17 and I will never forget this moment," she said. "I hope my career in the Air Force will one day lead me to flying everyday."