MARINE CORPS AIR STATION YUMA, Ariz. --
Maj. John Green, Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron executive officer, will leave the station April 1, 2011, for Iwakuni, Japan, in order to pick up the station’s first C-12F from the Air Force, which is set to replace the station’s older models.
His trip, slated to beginning April 6, will take him across four continents and 10 countries, including Thailand, the Philippines, India, the United Arab Emirates and Canada.
The station currently has two C-12Bs, which will both be replaced, that are used for transporting personnel and equipment to and from station.
The C-12F replaces the older C-12’s analog controls with computerized controls, making the pilot-aircraft interface more accessible, according to Green. The replacements are part of what he refers to as “modernization of the fleet.”
The trip will be Green’s longest flight in any aircraft thus far in his career. Aided by four other service members, the flight’s projected 62 flight hours will combine with Green’s 2,850 flight hours.
While the trip presents myriad opportunities to experience new cultures, the mission is not without its challenges.
“I’ve never flown internationally under civilian control,” said Green, who has flown combat missions. “That’s probably the biggest challenge, such as air traffic control or figuring out what gas to put in the airplane.”
Green also predicted there may be a language barrier to be surmounted.
Most foreign countries use the International Civil Aviation Organization regulations, whereas U.S. pilots are used to flying under Federal Aviation Association stipulations.
Though an AV-8B Harrier pilot by trade, Green flew with the Marine Attack Squadron 214 Black Sheep and the VMA-513 Nightmares early in his career, his credentials also include the T-34 and T-35 Mentor aircraft while serving as a flight instructor at Naval Air Station Kingsville in Texas.
“I’ve always wanted to fly since I was a little kid,” said Green.
Even as a civilian, the skies called to him; he got his pilot’s license at the ripe age of 18 when most people are still saving up for their first car.
For Green, his love of aviation may be the freedom of location.
“One cool thing is, for example, we took off the other day from Fort Huachuca, then Albequerque and then Denver,” he said. “It’s cool to get out of the office and get to do something.”
Green is slated to return April 18, 2011.
“I’m looking forward to this trip,” he said. “It should be good. I’m excited to get that plane back here so we can start flying it and train the rest of the squadron to fly it.”