Yokota welcomes its newest member the C-12 Huron
Lt. Col. Thad Hunkins salutes final C-21 departing Yokota Air Base, Japan on June 29th 2007. (U.S. Air Fiorce photo by A1C Laszlo Babocsi)(Released)
Yokota welcomes its newest member the C-12 Huron

by Airman 1st Class Laszlo Babocsi
374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

7/6/2007 - YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- As Yokota Air Base's final C-21A Learjet leaves Japan, a new brethren of the sky comes in, the C-12J Huron. With the arrival of the C-12 to fill the empty void of the recently departed C-21, the mission of the 459th Airlift Squadron will continue.

The C-12 is a twin turboprop aircraft used to transport cargo, senior-level passengers and aero medical evacuations, much like its predecessor the C-21and are vital to the 459 AS mission in the Pacific theater.

"We will definitely miss the quickness of the C-21, however the C-12 allows almost twice as much space inside," said Capt. Chris Bragdon, 459 AS C-21 flight commander.

The C-12 will have a lot of ground to make up to match the C-21's background.

Since 1985, one year after being introduced to the Air Force, the C-21 has up held the mission at Yokota Air Base. Along with that, the C-21's more recent accomplishments consist of its deployment to Southern Asia for Operation Unified Assistance, flying 125 hours and more than 58 sorties after the tsunami hit the area December 26, 2004.

"The 459 AS mission will not faulter, all we have done is combined the missions of Osan Air Base, Korea and Yokota, into one mission with the same set purpose and goals," said Lt. Col. Thad Hunkins, 459 AS commander.

As Yokota continues on with its mission in the Pacific theater, it will have to use the strengths of the C-12 to its fullest potential. With the skill of the pilots and leadership of the 459 AS, there is no doubt that the mission will be handled with ease.