Published on Sept. 25, 2013
JBLM helps transform Ascension Island into Pres. Obama Island
July 25, 2013 at 9:52am Excerpts, Northwest Military.com “More than 170 mobility Airmen from Travis Air Force Base, Calif., Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., and Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., descended on Ascension Island in the South Atlantic aboard four U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III aircraft, June 14.
This first wave was followed by 92 more C-17 and KC-10 Extender aircraft performing an aggressive 24/7 stage operation over the next 24 days. The normally tranquil island transformed into a major military aircraft hub during the month-long operation moving equipment and passengers to and from Africa in preparation for President Barack Obama’s official state visit to the African continent.
During the six-day visit, the president and first lady traveled through Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania, meeting with government and business leaders to promote democracy and reinforce the United States’ commitment to expanding economic growth, investment and trade in the African continent.
In addition to the deployed Airmen, the operation was supported by a small but capable team of permanent party military from the 45th Operations Group, Detachment 2. Additionally, a detachment from the Royal Air Force’s 1st Air Mobility Wing as well as contractor personnel provided round-the-clock support to ensure mission success. The island’s small civilian population was also supportive of the operation, graciously welcoming the influx of deployed troops.
“Ascension Island usually receives three aircraft per week,” said Maj. Michael Campbell, Detachment 2 commander. “It took the combined efforts of every agency on Ascension, as well as the deployed Airmen to support the heightened operations tempo and make this mission a success.”
A contingency response element consisting of 33 Airmen from the 621st Contingency Response Wing at Travis augmented Ascension’s existing airfield infrastructure, providing command and control, communications and aerial port services for the massive operation…
…Overall, this operation set several milestones with more than 4.4 million pounds of cargo, 1,600 passengers and 103 aircraft transiting the island. On average, one military aircraft arrived or departed Ascension’s airfield every 3.5 hours for 24 straight days, making the operation the largest movement of military equipment and personnel through Ascension Island since the Falklands War in 1982. At the peak of the operation, the influx of deployed troops increased the island’s population by over 25 percent.” Full Article
U.S. Air Force Space Command – Ascension Island
(Idaho National Laboratories) Personnel from the Power Systems Engineering Department, in conjunction with the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, and other partners, designed a combined, 7-MW prime power, diesel power and desalinization plant to support mission operations at Ascension Island for the U.S. Air Force Space Command. This project also included installation of a 60,000-gal/day flash evaporator desalinization plant.
Personnel from the Power Systems Engineering Department, in conjunction with the U.S. Air Force, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Pacific Industrial Electric, DIFKO, and other partners, developed and designed a hybrid wind farm at Ascension Island. It is currently operating in parallel with the prime power diesel plant with great performance and stability.