Air Force Returns to GTR In Force

Courtesy of Golden Triangle Regional Airport

More than 30 USAF training aircraft operated out of GTR while a runway at Columbus Air Force Base was under construction.

For the third time in two years, the Columbus Air Force Base T-1 training squadron deployed to the Golden Triangle Regional Airport while one of the three runways at the Air Force base was under construction. This time, the Air Force sent over 30 aircraft operating out of the airport, allowing the T-1s to keep their training tempo at full speed. In addition to the aircrews, maintenance personnel from M1 Support Services worked day and night at the airport to keep the aircraft mission ready.

“It was a team effort,” says Mike Hainsey, GTR Executive Director. “They needed a place to operate from, and we had the facilities and operations plan already in place.“

Hainsey emphasized that safety was the top priority for both the Air Force and GTR, so it was relatively easy integrating them into the GTR flight operations.

During the four-week deployment the Air Force flew more than 600 sorties (flights) from GTR with no incidents or mishaps. In addition, the airport was able to continue normal operations with flights from Delta Air Lines, Airbus Helicopters and normal business and general aviation traffic.

“Our FBO did a great job meeting all the needs of their customers while servicing more than 30 Air Force flights a day,” remarks Hainsey. “On one day, that included adding a C-17 from Jackson and a Boeing 737 charter aircraft to their traffic. To service all those airplanes safely is an amazing feat.”