Mixed aircrews flying over Cheyenne this week
By Deidre Forster, Wyoming Military Department
/ Published September 29, 2015
CHEYENNE, Wyo. -- The Wyoming Air National Guard C-130s soaring over the southwestern part of Wyoming this week were flown by a mix of Wyoming and Montana Air National Guard crews.
Maj. Leanna Thomas, tactics chief for the Wyoming Air National Guard, said she and her Montana counterpart planned this training and hope to plan more. Known as an "interfly" - when crews from different squadrons fly together either on separate aircraft in one formation, or as part of a mixed crew.
For this interfly, 11 members of the Montana Air National Guard's 186th Airlift Squadron joined members of the Wyoming Air National Guard's 187th Airlift Squadron for training on formation flying while using night vision goggles.
This isn't the first time the units have flown together; in February 2014 the Wyoming aircrews traveled to Montana to assist with training as that wing switched from F-16s to C-130s.
"Since then we have traveled up there several times with our aircraft to give them C-130 familiarization training prior to their (C-130s) arriving on station," said Lt. Col. Ryan Scofield, 187th Airlift Squadron director of operations. "It has been a great working relationship and we help each other out as much as possible."
Maj. Ian McBeth, with the 186th, transferred from the Wyoming unit for a three-year tour in Montana to grow that state's C-130 program. He is back in Cheyenne to fly in this training event.
"The size of the towns (Cheyenne and Great Falls), the active duty Air Force presence at another location in the same town, the airport and airspace setup, the similarities go on and on," he said. "These similarities between the locations create a situation where much can be learned quickly."