Phan Rang's 315th TAW Sets Airlift Record
by Maj. Jack Slevin
PHAN RANG -- The 315th Tactical Airlift wing, headquartered here, exceeded many previously established operational records for the six-month period of January through June.
The C-123 Provider flying unit, commanded by Col. C. S. Reed, amassed 41,758 flying hours with 53, 511 sorties and flew 154 days without an aircraft accident in the record-setting time.
The mission of the 315th TAW is to airlift all types of mission essential materials, including bombs, rockets and other ordnance. Fuel and virtually all types of supplies, even livestock, also were flown to all points within the Republic of Vietnam. It also transports combat troops, Vietnamese nationals and evacuates medical patients.
Col. John T. Parish, Jr., deputy commander for operations in the 315th, enumerated the following 315th records:
From Jan. 1 through June 30 the wing airlifted 490,380 combat troops and passengers, and 82,552 tons of cargo for a total movement of 141,398 tons. It flew 1,638 mission sorties in a six-day period without a delay.
During March the 315th attained its highest launch reliability record of 97.6 per cent. It established a controllable reliability record of 99 per cent while flying 8,254 sorties. This means that for every 100 sorties scheduled, only one was unaccomplished due to controllable factors. In April an overall mission reliability record of 97.5 per cent was attained.
During June the 311th Tactical Airlift Squadron's section operating from Da Nang established a 100 per cent controllable reliability record. The 311th TAS has led the wing in reliability during the last six months. Also, one of the Da Nang crews airlifted a very impressive 70-plus tons of cargo on one mission. The wing average is near 25 tons.
June was a very productive month for the 315th as they averaged flying 4.05 tons per hour, 3.06 tons per operational sortie (with 8,221 sorties) and 24.92 tons per line (scheduled aircraft) with 1,008 lines flown. During June the wing flew 5,929.9 operational hours. On June 26 the 315th airlifted 1,192.4 tons of cargo and passengers to exceed its previous single day's record of 978 tons set on June 3, 1970.
In summary of June's tremendous accomplishments, the 315th set a wing record for tonnage per hour of 4.05 and the best day average of 837.4.
Colonel Parish stated, "Although we have set records during the last six months, the professionalism and 'can do' attitude of the aircrews and maintenance personnel of this wing will doubtless continue to build even greater combat efficiency."
"All personnel of the 315th and its assigned squadrons have reason to be proud of their most impressive record during this last six months," said Colonel Reed. "I am extremely proud of all who made these accomplishments possible through extremely hard work, long hours and a fine 'esprit de corps'."
During this period the 315th was composed of the 309th, 310th and 311th TAS's, all operating out of Phan Rang AB. A portion of the 311th TAS operates from Da Nang. The 19th TAS at Tan Son Nhut AB also is part of the 315th wing, as was the 12th Special Operations Squadron based at Bien Hoa. The major maintenance on the wing's C-123s is performed by the 315th Consolidated Aircraft Maintenance Squadron.