Rota, Moron personnel receive diverted military flights
ROTA, Spain — Naval Station Rota (NAVSTA Rota), Spain, and Moron Air Base personnel have absorbed many U.S. military flights diverted from Northern European routes due to the airspace closure April 16 from ash being spewed from the Iceland volcanic eruption.
NAVSTA Rota, Spain — Air Mobility Command C-5 transport planeeâ?s sit on the flight line at Naval Station Rota, Spain, April 17. Rota and Moron Air Base, Spain, absorbed many U.S. military flights that were diverted from northern European routes due to the airspace closure caused by ash being spewed from the Iceland volcanic eruption. Rota typically averages about eight to 13 flights a day but saw double that amount over the weekend. Moron averages one or two flights a day. Over the weekend, it had about 10 times that amount. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Keith Meyers)
1 photo: NAVSTA Rota, Spain — Air Mobility Command C-5 transport planeeâ?s sit on the flight line at Naval Station Rota, Spain, April 17. Rota and Moron Air Base, Spain, absorbed many U.S. military fligh
Photo 1 of 1: NAVSTA Rota, Spain — Air Mobility Command C-5 transport planeeâ?s sit on the flight line at Naval Station Rota, Spain, April 17. Rota and Moron Air Base, Spain, absorbed many U.S. military flights that were diverted from northern European routes due to the airspace closure caused by ash being spewed from the Iceland volcanic eruption. Rota typically averages about eight to 13 flights a day but saw double that amount over the weekend. Moron averages one or two flights a day. Over the weekend, it had about 10 times that amount. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Keith Meyers) Download full-resolution version

ROTA, Spain  — Naval Station Rota (NAVSTA Rota), Spain, and Moron Air Base personnel have absorbed many U.S. military flights diverted from Northern European routes due to the airspace closure April 16 from ash being spewed from the Iceland volcanic eruption.

Rota typically averages about eight to 13 flights a day but saw double that amount over the weekend. Moron Air Base averages about one or two flights a day. Over the weekend, the air base had approximately 10 times that amount.

NAVSTA Rota Executive Officer, Navy Cmdr. Tom Eberhard expressed complete confidence in NAVSTA personnel to handle the challenge.

"Because of the incredible teamwork between our Navy and Air Force personnel here at NAVSTA Rota, we are able to meet this increased demand," said Eberhard. "We have some of the best sailors and airmen in the world. They are always focused on accomplishing the mission."

Volcanic ash creates a cloud that is hazardous to engines. When absorbed into the engine, it can cause the jet to crash. Air Mobility Command (AMC) flights that usually traverse the northern European air route were diverted to the southern, Mediterranean route via Rota and Moron to avoid the hazard.

Air Force Lt. Col. Mike Cannon, deputy commander of the 521st Air Mobility Operations Group, said AMC has a fixed route infrastructure to handle its aircraft and although it is a fixed route it is very flexible.

"We are meeting U.S. Transportation Command requirements by flexing our capability to our fixed locations to handle the air flow," said Cannon. "The men and women here at the 725th Air Mobility Squadron have adapted to meet the work load by increasing the work shifts and duty hours to handle the increase in traffic."

A team of mechanics, from other bases not affected by the ash cloud, were sent to Moron in conjunction with the 496th Air Base Squadron to work on planes as they transit from Europe and the United States.

"We love it when there are a lot of tails on the ramp," said Cannon. "Air mobility professionals take a lot of pride in the fact they are pushing a lot of cargo and men through the system to the fight and back to the states. The work load has doubled; we rolled up ours sleeves and did the work."
 

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