UPDATED Feb. 1, 2013: This mission occurs this afternoon, Friday, Feb. 1, 2013. It has been delayed until today due to poor weather conditions for the past week.
Next week marks a career flying milestone for a Delaware Air National Guard aircrew member when Chief Master Sgt. James Caudell, a C-130 loadmaster and the loadmaster section chief in the 142nd Airlift Squadron, should break the 10,000 hour safe flying mark during a flight scheduled for Monday, Jan. 28. Chief Caudell now has 9,999 accident-free flying hours.
Chief Caudell has served in the unit since December 1974, and has 38 years of service in his current unit. He has experience in the last two airlift aircraft models starting when the unit had the original C-130A transport aircraft to the present-day C-130H model which was acquired in the mid-1980s. He has served as an aircraft loadmaster, an instructor loadmaster, a flight examiner and now a loadmaster superintendent. He has participated in as great a variety of airdrops and missions as anyone who has served in the unit. He will retire later this year after he reaches the mandatory retirement age with over 38 years of service.
He is a veteran of Operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, New Dawn and many other operations during wartime plus various other contingency operations, to include hurricane and other natural disaster and humanitarian relief operations affecting U.S. citizens in many states. He has seen service throughout Europe, to several nations in Southwest Asia and the Middle East to include Iraq and Afghanistan, South America, and several nations along the Pacific Rim. He has gone to combat zones with his fellow members in every conflict the unit has participated in, to include the most austere environments. In his loadmaster role Chief Caudell and his team have supported training and real-world missions of warfighters from every sister service and from many U.S. allies.
Chief Caudell resides in Bear, Delaware.
"Reaching this 10,000 hour milestone is the result of a career's worth of sacrifice and dedication. Chief Caudell epitomizes our core values. From the peaceful skies of Delaware, to combat areas over the far corners of the world, he has accumulated this time answering our nation's and state's call. The freedom of many relies on the diligence of Airmen and Soldiers like Chief Caudell," said 166th Airlift Wing Commander Col. Mike Feeley.
Only one other currently serving aircrew member of the Delaware Air Guard has passed 10,000 hours of flying time aboard an aircraft, and one other currently serving aircrew member has over 8,400 hours.
This high-water mark of Chief Caudell's flying career equals nearly five years of flying aboard an aircraft covering normal full-time annual employment hours. A very rough comparison in the trucking industry might be a cross-country trucker obtaining one million miles travelling on a big rig in a career.
(Note to editors: A follow-up announcement will be made Monday, as weather conditions impact flying missions. We will make a photo available to media, and arrange for any other requested coverage or reporting. Call Del. Air Guard Public Affairs, 302-593-2126, for any media request. Address: 2600 Spruance Dr., New Castle, DE 19720.
The Delaware ANG has 1,100 members, and continually deploys personnel and subordinate units around the globe.
This release is in the public domain, and any part may be used as written.
Delaware Air National Guard:
Celebrating 67 years of Citizen-Airman service to our state and nation, 1946-2013
- 30 -