Coronet Oak

Captain Chris Miller's experience in Panama

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Coronet Oak is the ongoing support for Air Forces South (the USAF component of SOUTHCOM) presently operating out of Puerto Rico. During my time there, we were based at Howard Air Force Base as a rotational unit under the 24th Wing. The mission had previously gone under the names Volant Oak (when C-130s belonged to Military Airlift Command) and Phoenix Oak (when C-130s belonged to Air Combat Command), and adopted the "Coronet" moniker when C-130s came back under Air Mobility Command. The name has changed, but the mission essentially remains the same. The mission has always been supported by Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard crews, maintenance, and support personnel on a rotational basis.
One of the draws of this mission for the average Reservist was the opportunity to visit Panama. Panama is like a cheaper version of Las Vegas in a way. They have some casinos, great restaurants, and a variety of clubs. The US dollar is an accepted currency, being on a 1:1 exchange rate with the Panamanian Balboa. Adult leadership was cognizant of the fact that it was a location where individuals could blow off a little steam - within certain boundaries - without getting into trouble. And, a typical rotation was 15 days - exactly the length of our Annual Tour.

E-Mail Last updated on 2 May 2006 by Chris Miller Go Top

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