Air Force Featured Stories

Travis AFB supports joint recovery mission effort

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Karla Parra
  • 60th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

Airmen from the 60th Aerial Port Squadron at Travis Air Force Base and Airmen from the 4th Airlift Squadron, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, participated in a joint effort to support the U.S. Navy in a vessel recovery mission at Naval Weapons Station China Lake, April 8, 2022.

The recovery mission provided Travis AFB Airmen the opportunity to showcase their agile capabilities in conjunction with another branch of service at a moment’s notice.

The U.S. Navy recovered an F-35C Lightning II assigned to Carrier Air Wing 2 after a crash during a routine operation in the South China Sea, according to a Navy article released March 3.

The F-35 was recovered from a depth of 12,400 feet.


“This is a unique joint operation where we get to put our skills to the test to help the Navy transport their equipment,” said Senior Airman Austin Wollenberg, 60th APS air transportation specialist and team chief.

Loadmasters from the 4th AS worked together with ramp operators from the 60th APS to ensure a Tunner 60K aircraft cargo loader from Travis AFB was loaded and secured on a C-17 Globemaster III.

“Our three-man team will fly out to China Lake to offload the K-loader and transport the aircraft to its final destination,” Wollenberg said.

The aircraft will be transported to Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake for further analyses, tests and evaluation.

"My job as an air transportation specialist keeps me on my toes. One day we could be helping a family PCS; while the next day, we could be transporting 2,000-pound bombs, and the following day delivering medical aid,” he said. “It's rewarding to understand the port's impact on the overall Air Mobility Command mission. Everything the entire military needs at a moment's notice, we transport on our cargo aircraft.”

The cause of the incident remains under investigation by the U.S. Navy.