Convoy to Snowbird breaks record
By Senior Master Sgt. Ed Bard, 175th Wing
/ Published April 21, 2015
Baltimore -- The largest Maryland Air National Guard convoy made a cross-country trip in February to support Snowbird flying operations at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Ariz. breaking their previous record from 2010.
The 175th Logistics Readiness Squadron sent eight vehicles carrying 17 guard members and nearly $15 million in equipment on a 4,680 mile, round-trip from Warfield Air National Guard Base in Baltimore to Tucson, setting the record for a state-side convoy among any active duty or reserve units in the U.S. Air Force.
During the first three days of the trip, they drove through freezing rain, wind and snow and saw more than 14 tractor-trailer accidents before they reached Dallas, said Maj. Steve Harrigan, commander for the 175th Logistic Readiness Squadron.
"Our biggest accomplishment was staying accident-free driving in the bad weather," said Harrigan.
"They don't teach us this in school," said Tech Sgt. Bobby Hynes, a vehicle operator with the 175th Logistic Readiness Squadron and non-commissioned officer in charge of the convoy.
The three months of planning was integral to maintaining mission success and each day the convoy was expected to average 10 hours of driving at 50 mph during the five-day, 2,340 mile road trip there, said Hynes.
The "most flawless convoy ever", which included five tractor trailers, two vans, one wrecker/heavy duty tow truck, 132,968 pounds of spare aircraft parts, one jet engine valued at $2.5 million, and ground equipment valued at more than $12 million, completed the trip to Arizona in five days, said Tech Sgt. Nicole Loucas, a 175th Logistic Readiness Squadron vehicle operator and assistant non-commissioned officer in charge of the trip.
The vehicles and personnel logged approximately 1,100 miles during the 15 days supporting the Maryland Air National Guard's 104th Fighter Squadron A-10Cs during Snowbird at Davis-Monthan before returning to Baltimore, said Loucas. Bringing the equipment with military vehicles for the 25 day trip not only provided cost savings but provided training to the Airmen on the convoy, said Hynes.
Snowbird was established in 1975 and is a National Guard Bureau program supported through the 162nd Fighter Wing, Arizona, Air National Guard.