Tuesday, October 21, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Travis sergeant gets B-52 part where it’s needed

By
From page A1 | March 28, 2013 |

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE — Tech. Sgt. Patrick Wagnon said it was just part of his job.

But if the 60th Aerial Port Squadron noncommissioned officer didn’t push to get a B-52 vertical stabilizer flown to Guam, the damaged bomber that needed it would spend more weeks grounded.

“It was just my job to make the mission happen,” Wagnon said. “I knew that there was a downed B-52 in Guam. If it did not get fixed, it can’t do its job to protect our guys on the ground.”

Was it exciting, made-for-a-thriller work? No. But it was very vital bullets-and-beans duty.

It all started in late 2012 when a B-52 bomber at Anderson Air Force Base, Guam, damaged its vertical stabilizer enough that it had to be replaced before it could fly again.

The replacement stabilizer was found and removed from a B-52 used for ground training at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., which was about to be decommissioned.

Workers at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., designed and built a transport cradle capable of carrying the replacement stabilizer safely aboard a C-5 Galaxy transport. They took an old B-52 stabilizer from Davis-Monthan’s aircraft boneyard and used it as a template around which they designed the custom carrier.

The cradle was trucked to Barksdale and the stabilizer was put on. It was then trucked west to Travis Air Force Base and the 60th Aerial Port Squadron to await a C-5 mission that would take it to Guam.

Put on a pallet, the entire thing weighed about 5,000 pounds and the stabilizer had to be canted at a near-perfect 45-degree angle to allow it to fit snugly into the only aircraft that could carry such a load, the C-5.

That’s where Wagnon entered the picture Feb. 19.

“I noticed it when it came in and I kept an eye on it while it was being palletized,” Wagnon said.

The stabilizer was supposed to fly out on a Fourth Air Force C-5 training mission to Guam by way of Hawaii, but the initial aircraft for the mission had maintenance problems. After the aircrew swapped to another aircraft, the stop at Travis dropped out of the picture.

When Wagnon, working in the Travis air terminal operations center as senior controller, heard about the change, he started asking why the aircraft was not coming to Travis to pick up the stabilizer.

The determined technical sergeant hit the phones, first calling the Air Mobility Command Tanker Airlift Control Center.

Since it was an Air Force Reserve mission, he was referred to the Fourth Air Force to get the stop at Travis added back to the mission – only to be told that the mission plans were already approved. Any change would have to be made by the aircraft commander, who was flying out of Texas.

Not put off, Wagnon got the aircraft commander’s cellphone number and got in touch with him 40 minutes before he was going to take off, Wagnon said.

“I explained the situation – that we don’t get a lot of C-5s going to Guam and the necessity of coming here (to pick up and deliver the stabilizer),” Wagnon said.

Wagnon even threw in a promise to meet the aircraft personally and provide the aircrew with refreshments, to which the pilot replied he had already decided to go to Travis when Wagnon explained his need, but wanted to hold out just a little bit longer to see what else he could get out of Wagnon.

“They went into crew rest when they arrived here and our guys loaded it the very next morning,” Wagnon said. “Once it was done, I didn’t think anything else about it. It was all a job done and let’s move on to the next thing.”

His boss, 60th Aerial Port Squadron commander Lt. Col. Michael Tiemann, called Wagnon’s persistence a great example “of the right people executing the mission” taking any measure to make it happen.

Tiemann pointed out that if Wagnon didn’t push, the stabilizer would have stayed at Travis until another C-5 mission was slated to fly to Guam, which is not common. Otherwise, a C-5 would have to have been specifically tasked to fly the part to Guam, which would cost the Air Force about $1.5 million.

Tiemann said it is people such as Wagnon in his command who ensure he doesn’t have to worry about seeing the job done, allowing the 60th Aerial Port Squadron to live up to its motto of “Deeds, not words.”

Wagnon describes himself as a small part of the crew that included those at Barksdale Air Force Base and Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, who got the stabilizer to where it needed to be.

“I am just a small piece of the puzzle,” Wagnon said.

Reach Ian Thompson at 427-6976 or ithompson@dailyrepublic.net. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com.ithompsondr.

Ian Thompson

Ian Thompson

Ian Thompson has worked for the Daily Republic longer than he cares to remember. A native of Oregon and a graduate of the University of Oregon, he pines for the motherland still. He covers Vacaville and Travis Air Force Base for the Daily Republic. He is an avid military history buff, wargamer and loves the great outdoors.
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Crime key topic again at Fairfield candidates night

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1, 28 Comments | Gallery

 
 
Dixon corn maze breaks own world record

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A2, 1 Comment | Gallery

PAL center seeks volunteers

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
.

US / World

Police say they might have spotted ambush suspect

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Fashion designer Oscar de la Renta dies at 82

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Yosemite proposes raising entrance, camping fees

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2, 3 Comments

 
CDC releases revised Ebola gear guidelines

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Clinton: Midterm elections should motivate women

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Surfer fends off shark attack with fist, board

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

WWII airman to be buried in Oakland

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2, 1 Comment

 
Brown: California needs long-term vision on water

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2, 4 Comments

Colorado proposes edible pot ban, then retreats

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2, 2 Comments

 
Submarine hunt sends Cold War chill across Baltic

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Oscar Pistorius to finally learn his sentence

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Youths, tech workers duel over San Francisco field

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Suspect in Va. abduction charged in DC area rape

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Warming Earth heading for hottest year on record

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2, 2 Comments

Lacking a plan, Abbas opts for rhetoric

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Police: Indiana suspect hints at more killings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Turkey says it helps Kurdish fighters enter Syria

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Nigeria declared Ebola-free; ‘spectacular success’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Urgent-care clinics ill-equipped to treat Ebola

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
British royal couples’ 2nd child due in April

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
.

Opinion

Spering kept youth league going

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 10 Comments

 
Day, Blankenchip good for respective cities

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

‘Misleading’ mailer sent to residents

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: Oct. 21, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page:

 
.

Entertainment

Yearwood, Santana to perform at World Series

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Standing ovation at Met Opera despite protest

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

Still the Same: Bob Seger launching tour, album

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

 
San Francisco radio stations ban hit song ‘Royals’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Pitbull to host American Music Awards on Nov. 23

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ actor arrested in Idaho

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

NBC’s Snyderman faces credibility issues

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

 
Not so fast cordcutters – cable’s not going anywhere

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5 | Gallery

TVGrid Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
.

Sports

Local Report: Armijo boys soccer team falls to Vintage

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

 
Steelers rally past stunned Texans 30-23

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Bumgarner against Shields in World Series opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Raiders plagued by 3rd-down defensive woes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Champion drag racer Raymond Beadle dies at 70

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Stiviano lawsuit against Shelly Sterling dismissed

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

With TD mark in bag, Manning can set more records

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
49ers lose center Daniel Kilgore, needs surgery

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Giants-Royals: A capsule look at World Series

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Belichick, Brady praise Manning on TD record

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Penn State board to meet on disputed Freeh Report

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
McIlroy to skip 2 events to focus on lawsuit

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Column: Keselowski marches to his own beat

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Wanted: Cities interested in hosting 2024 Olympics

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Giants rely on core of 4 relievers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Royals, fans bond over improbable postseason run

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Voynov suspended on domestic violence suspicion

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
.

Business

Facebook sues law firms, claims fraud

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Apple reports record 39.3 million iPhone sales

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5, 1 Comment

US regulator: Fannie, Freddie in deal with banks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Sears plans to raise more cash via rights offering

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

Survey: Pay raises rarer despite strong US hiring

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5 | Gallery

 
US agency warns car owners to get air bags fixed

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Pickles Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Bridge Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Sudoku Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Baby Blues Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Sally Forth Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Wizard of Id Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Dilbert Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
B.C. Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Crossword Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Frank and Ernest Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Blondie Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Word Sleuth Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Garfield Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Get Fuzzy Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Baldo Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Rose is Rose Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

For Better or Worse Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Zits Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Peanuts Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Cryptoquote Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Beetle Bailey Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6