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News > TACC deployment enlightens 97th AS Reserve pilot
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97th Airlift Squadron, McChord AFB, Wash.
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TACC deployment enlightens 97th AS Reserve pilot

Posted 10/4/2009   Updated 10/4/2009 Email story   Print story


by Master Sgt. Jake Chappelle
446th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

10/4/2009 - MCCHORD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- An 18-year veteran pilot with the 97th Airlift Squadron here recently completed a six-month assignment, controlling critical missions at Air Mobility Command's Tanker Airlift Control Center, Scott Air Force Base, Ill.

Lt. Col. Tony Leung, 97th AS, chief of training, made the TACC's front line decisions to execute AMC's global mission, to provide global strategic airlift and air refueling capabilities.

"What we did was absolutely critical to moving the mobility mission," said Colonel Leung. "I managed airlift, tanker, and commercial aircraft. We pieced together many puzzle parts such as arrival slot times, station operating hours, tanker support, and aircraft maintenance status."

Colonel Leung explains the requirements of his position.

"I was a Global Operations director and duty officer," said Colonel Leung. "I controlled and managed the contingency airlift mission, Special Assignment Airlift Missions, Phoenix Banner for Presidential support, aeromedical evacuations, channels, deploying and redeploying aircraft, exercise Joint Airborne/Air Transportability Training, and other special missions including support for the Thunderbirds (the U.S. Air Force demonstration team), and Tops in Blue, the Air Force's travelling entertainment and morale team."

According to Colonel Leung, who has been with the 97th AS since 2000, the missions he managed required thorough execution with other major players.

Some of the people coordinated with were the TACC director, Battle Staff director, Battle Staff stage manager, Maximum on Ground manager, aerial port controllers, maintenance, medevac personnel, Diplomatic Clearance office, and, especially, the command post personnel on the TACC floor.

With the position requiring high-operations tempo and need for attention to detail, Lt. Col. Kevin Dill, a pilot instructor with the 97TH AS, knows Colonel Leung's rich history was a perfect fit for the job.

"I have known Tony since he's been with the Reserve," said Colonel Dill. "He is meticulous, cares about the people he works with, and cares about the customers. He always brings his A-game and his attitude is infectious. It's an example for all of us at the squadron. We're inspired by his performance."

As the head of training for the 97th AS, Colonel Leung's job is to ensure the squadron's pilots are up to speed and ready to go into the war zone, said Colonel Dill. His record has made him an obvious choice for the job, added Colonel Dill.

Colonel Leung is just one of many Reservists who have already deployed this year. Currently, there are roughly 100 Reservists from the 446th Airlift Wing supporting contingencies around the globe.

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