Yokota supports NASA
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- When a crew from NASA's Airborne Science Program wanted to fly over Japan to gather volcanic activity, they found themselves looking to Yokota for support.
Airmen throughout the 374th Airlift Wing helped the Gulfstream III crew from NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Oct. 5- 9.
"We have specific scientific objectives we are meeting while we are in Japan," said John McGrath, NASA C-20A project manager. "Yokota is centrally located in the country and can provide the support we need."
Working with the NASA crew provided a unique opportunity for some of Yokota's Airmen to test their skills.
"The air traffic controllers allowed us to operate in their airspace doing something that hasn't been done," said Troy Asher, NASA aerospace research test pilot. "The way we fly isn't convenient for them, and they were really accommodating to our needs."
"The area the NASA crew flew over isn't one that we have information for," said Senior Airman Zachary Kelly, 374th Weather Flight mission execution forecaster. "They also fly at 41,000 feet, and we had to use satellite and water vapor information to give to determine what their flying conditions would be."
During their mission, the NASA crew logged 18-hours of flight collecting data. The information gathered during the NASA flights will be shared between U.S. and Japanese scientists. In the future, NASA hopes to return to Japan to measure any changes in volcanic activity and compare the data with baseline measurements collected during this mission.
"This was one example of the incredibly varied range of missions Yokota is called on and stands ready to support," said Maj. Rob Hairston, 374 AW Plans and Programs. "It was an even better example of the versatile and flexible efforts the 374 AW team is capable of providing to address interests in the region. We look forward to continued work with our friends at NASA on this worthwhile mission."