Travis flyers support upcoming air show

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Alexander Merchak
  • 60th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- U.S. Airmen assigned to the 21st Airlift Squadron and 860th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron transported a Mobile Aircraft Arresting System (MAAS) from Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada to Sacramento County Mather Airport, March 3, 2024.

The mission supported the headlining Blue Angels, the Navy’s flight demonstration team, for the upcoming 2024 Wings Over Solano Airshow and Open House scheduled March 16 – 17, delivering the aircraft braking system that the F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet would need.

“Travis is a heavy mobility base that doesn’t have the equipment to handle fighter aircraft,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. David Gourdin, 21st Airlift Squadron C-17 Globemaster III evaluator pilot and aircraft commander. “We flew this cargo so it can be installed here at Mather in case of emergency situations during the airshow.” 

The aircrew picked up the MAAS from the 820th Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineers power production team at Nellis AFB and according to Gourdin, the loadmasters were excellent.

In total, the Travis aircrew delivered 137,000 pounds of cargo during the mission in support of U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy air demonstration teams.

“The best thing to me about being a loadmaster is that one day I could be moving presidential assets and the next I could be moving food for a humanitarian mission,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Dazhawn Richardson, 21st AS C-17 loadmaster.


In addition to picking up the MAAS, the aircrew flew to Naval Air Facility El Centro to assist the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron.

“For me, it has been a very good experience being able to work with the Thunderbirds and Blue Angels,” said Richardson. “As a kid, I saw the Blue Angels rocking around in the sky and now actually getting the chance to work with them, it’s one of the coolest things that I have done in the Air Force.”

Then the 21 AS transported 45 Airmen assigned to the USAFADS and their equipment back to Nellis Air Force Base, Feb. 29.

According to Gourdin, this airshow is important because it gives the public a sense of where taxpayers' money is going.

“It’s why I love flying the C-17, to be able to show others what we are capable of and inspire the next generation of aviators,” said Gourdin.

Visit our wings over solano website for the most up to date airshow information.