Yokota Spouses Take Off
Yokota Air Base, Japan -- Yokota is unique in many ways, not only is it in the heart of Japan but the mission requires three airframes. On Feb. 3, 2017 the last scheduled spouse orientation flight on an active duty C-130H took place, giving military spouses a chance to walk in their military counterparts boots.
The flights offered to the spouses included circling around Mt. Fuji in a C-130H, a helicopter flight around down town Tokyo in a UH-1N Iroquois or a trip around central Japan in a C-12 Huron. In addition to flying in various aircraft, the spouses could explore static aircraft and aircraft maintenance displays.
These flights offer a way for the Air Force to give something back to the families that sacrifice so much for the military.
“The families do so much to help the mission that is not recognized,” said Maj. Drew R. Skovran 374th Operations Support Squadron assistant director of operations officer. “They don’t sign up for the military lifestyle but still have to live it and this is a small token of thanks we can give back to them.”
Not only are spouse flights a chance to give back to the families that support the Air Force, but also a chance for the families to experience what their military counterparts do day to day. This can help the families understand why the Air Force mission requires so much from military members and their families.
According to Skovran, understanding why missions are driven the way they are or why aircraft need to be maintained so often may help ease some of the difficulties families deal with in military life.
“We get to see what our spouses go through,” said Megan Rivera, participant in the 374th Operations Group Spouse Orientation Flight. “I see why it takes so much to maintain these planes and understand why they have to work so many hours.”
For approximately 190 Yokota spouses the experience they gained will never be forgotten.
“Flying with the cargo door open and seeing Mt. Fuji was absolutely beautiful,” said Rivera. “It was my favorite part of the flight and was one of the most unique experiences of my life.”