Military aircraft pass through region

Military aircraft pass through region

There was thunder at the Jack Brooks Regional Airport Tuesday, Dec. 11, but the colossal booming wasn’t weather related.

More than 100 Apache, Blackhawk and Chinook helicopters landed on Monday, Dec. 10, and promptly left Wednesday, Dec. 12, for the Port of Beaumont on their way to provide combat support for troops pulling out of Afghanistan.

“By the end of this week we will have moved over 105 aircraft from Ft. Bliss through Jack Brooks to the port,” said Army Capt. Cassie Wyllie of the First Armored Division’s Combat Aviation Brigade.

With over 100 aircraft to fuel, Alex Rupp, interim director of the Jack Brooks Regional Airport, said this week’s fuel sales represent one of the largest single sales of fuel this year.

“That was over 15,000 gallons” of military-grade fuel, Rupp said. “That’s over two and a half percent of our annual fuel sales.”

With so much machinery at her disposal, Capt. Wyllie, an Apache Gunship pilot, said her nine-month deployment to Afghanistan will be her second. She said her brigade will be helping American troops exit the war-torn middle eastern country.

“We’re helping with the draw-down as far as taking equipment out and replacing people,” she said.

Wyllie said Afghanistan is still a dangerous place for American troops, especially as Americans leave the country.

“Every day there’s stuff going on over there that I don’t think a lot of people are aware of,” she said. “It’s every bit as dangerous today as it was when we very first went in.”