News: C-130 pilot, Reserve officer, supports Pakistan relief effort, OEF combat airlift missions
Story by Master Sgt. Scott Sturkol
BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan - Lt. Col. Kenneth Ostrat is a C-130 Hercules pilot deployed to the 746th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron, 455th Air Expeditionary Wing, Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan.
Ostrat is deployed from the Air Force Reserve's 357th Airlift Squadron at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. His hometown is Prattville, Ala. As a C-130 pilot, Colonel Ostrat supports airlift operations in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility to include for Operation Enduring Freedom and most recently for Pakistan flood relief operations.
The lieutenant colonel described his involvement in the Pakistan relief operation in an August 2010 news story from 455th AEW Public Affairs at Bagram. He reflected on being among the first to respond to the disaster.
"The first thing I thought was that this was a massively destructive natural event," Ostrat said in the story. "There had to be thousands of people who were directly impacted, and hundreds of thousands more that were indirectly impacted by something of that scale."
On participating in the effort, he said, "It was rewarding to see the international power that is going in to bring relief to those people in Sukkur [Pakistan] and all the other downstream regions in Pakistan that were affected."
Whether flying relief airlift missions to Pakistan or supporting Operation Enduring Freedom, Ostrat is doing exactly what he was trained to do. According to his official Air Force job description for an airlift pilot, he is required to "pilot airlift aircraft and command crews to accomplish airlift, training and other missions."
To fulfill his work as an airlift pilot, Ostrat reviews mission tasking, intelligence and weather information, the job description states. He supervises mission planning, preparation, filing a flight plan and crew briefings and he ensures the aircraft is pre-flighted, inspected, loaded, equipped and manned for each mission.
Airmen like Ostrat also pilot aircraft and command crews. They are trained to operate aircraft controls and equipment and perform, supervise, or direct navigation, in-flight refueling, and cargo and passenger delivery. They also ensure the operational readiness of the crew by conducting or supervising mission specific training and they develop plans and policies, monitor operations and assist commanders with functions related to airlift operations, the job descript shows.
Airmen like Ostrat also have to maintain mandatory job knowledge in the theory of flight, air navigation, meteorology, flying directives, aircraft operating procedures and mission tactics.
According to the wing Web site, the 455th AEW serves U.S. Air Forces Central and provides close air support, combat search rescue, aerial intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and airlift capabilities to U.S. and coalition forces supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. In conjunction with Combined Joint Task Force-82, the 455th AEW is "working to secure the future of Afghanistan for the Afghan people." Aircraft include the F-15E Strike Eagle, C-130 Hercules, HH-60 Pave Hawk, and Navy EA-6B Prowler.
(Staff Sgt. Kali L. Gradishar, U.S. Air Forces Central Combat Camera Team, contributed to this article.)
This work, C-130 pilot, Reserve officer, supports Pakistan relief effort, OEF combat airlift missions, by MSgt Scott Sturkol, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.