By AWFCS(NAC/SCW) Mike Wendelin
VR-62 Public Affairs
The men and women of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VR)-62, flying the C-130T Hercules aircraft are proud of their heritage.
"Providing fleet logistics support via airfields around the globe creates a nomadic culture at VR-62 - so our name is our mission," said CMDCM Freddy Pacheco. "We're proud to follow in the footsteps of Navy air transport units like VR-6 and VR-8 that participated in the Berlin Airlift."
Home based at NAS Jacksonville, VR-62 is one of five Navy Reserve C-130T logistics squadrons. The Nomads are currently preparing a detachment for CENTCOM later in this spring.
VR-62 Commanding Officer Cmdr. Tony Scarpino put the Nomads' mission in context when he said, "VR-62 is prepared to answer all calls in support of our Navy no matter if it is a disaster of epic proportions, regional instability, or expeditionary surge - the VR-62 Nomads deliver!"
The Nomads recently received word that they will become a five-aircraft squadron. Later this year the Marine Corps Reserve will transition from the C-130T to the C-130J platform. The Marines' excess C-130Ts will be distributed to the five Navy C-130 squadrons in the Fleet Logistics Support Wing.
"We can't wait to get our 'new' aircraft. This will give us a little more flexibility to execute our mission, and we are looking forward to another record setting year," said VR-62 Executive Officer Cmdr. Bryon Smith.
In FY 2013 the Nomads logged 3,209 flight hours with the squadron's four aircraft. The Nomads flew in every geographic combatant command.
In addition to normal detached operations at NAS Sigonella (EUCOM), NAF Atsugi (PACOM), and Bahrain (CENTCOM), the Nomads flew missions in Northern Command, Southern Command and Africa Command.
This is normal operational tempo for the Nomads.
In the course of flying those 3,209 hours, the Nomads completed 207 missions and lifted in excess of 2.7 million pounds of cargo.
In addition to Navy cargo, the VR-62 Nomads moved freight and equipment for the Army, Air Force and Marines, as well as the Royal Navy and Royal Australian armed forces. That averages out to 17 missions, 267 flight hours, 314,801 pounds of cargo lifted per month for the four-aircraft squadron.
"Since our squadron has no active duty counterpart, we take on the persona of an active duty squadron and fly like an active duty squadron," said VR-62 Operations Officer Lt. Cmdr. Mariusz Drozdzowski.
"The pace here is very up tempo."
He explained, "The Nomads fly two types of missions. The first is detached operations flying for the Combined Task Force for the combatant command where the Nomads are assigned. The Nomads have a normal detachment cycle to EUCOM, PACOM and CENTCOM every fiscal year.
The second type of mission is called a NALO (Naval Aviation Logistics Office) mission that is tasked from NALO in New Orleans, La., which operates a data collection and analysis system for airlift asset management and aircraft acquisition justification for Chief of Naval Operations. Missions usually originate or terminate in the Continental United States."
Recently, the VR-62 Nomads assisted Underwater Construction Team Two (UCT-2) with an airlift of construction and diving equipment, including two recompression chambers, to Timor-Leste, a small country near Indonesia in Southeast Asia.
VR-62 picked up the cargo and delivered it to the other side of the planet. The Nomads also flew UCT-2 personnel home when they completed their humanitarian assistance mission five months later.
The Nomads also delivered 46 tons of materials in support of Operation Damayan (relief efforts after typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines). The Nomads can move just about anything that will fit into the C-130T and get it to the other side of the planet in short order.
The Nomad mission could not be accomplished without a superb maintenance department. In 2012, the Nomads won the Noel Davis "Battle E" award, the Golden Wrench and the Golden Anchor - and are looking forward to another award-winning performance this fiscal year.
If you're a pilot looking for an aviation position in the Navy Reserve - check out our smart phone link at: http://youtu.be/yJPwy6xKPEw.