Altus Air Force base training

Monday, April 14th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Altus-AP) -- Odds are, the pilots and crew of the cargo planes landing at Baghdad International Airport were trained at Altus Air Force Base.

Major Tony Krawietz says every C-5, C-17, K-C-135 pilot, loadmaster and crew member were trained in Altus.

Training is the primary mission at the base, which graduates about three thousand people each year.

Altus Air Force Base pilots and support crews learn how to load and fly the military's largest planes, including the C-5 Galaxy.

A Galaxy is large enough to carry three Greyhound buses in the belly of its cargo area.

In Iraq, the planes have played a key role in the northern front, where ground operations were forbidden to advance on Turkish soil.

The planes also have been crucial in delivering humanitarian aid. Such airdrops have been practiced countless times 20 miles west of Altus at the ``Sooner Drop Zone'' in Duke.