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C-12s -- A Valuable Asset to Maritime Security Operations

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS060226-02
Release Date: 2/26/2006 11:53:00 AM

By Journalist 2nd Class Cassandra Thompson, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Commander, U.S. 5th Fleet Public Affairs

MANAMA, Bahrain (NNS) -- The C-12 airplanes operating out of Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bahrain’s aviation depot are currently serving as valuable assets to maritime security operations (MSO), particularly logistics support, in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations, according Lt. Patrick Brown, Coalition Task Force (CTF) 53 routing officer.

Brown, from Slidell, La., said the three eight-passenger Huron-class aircraft provide high priority, short notice transportation of cargo and personnel for the Navy and Department of Defense.

“C-12s can generally reach anywhere in the [area of operations],” said Brown. “They may have to stop for gas along the way, but we can generally get people anywhere.” He said the C-12s frequently visited destinations include Qatar, Kuwait, Dubai and Fujaira in the United Arab Emirates.

Requests for a C-12 flight usually have to involve more than four passengers for it to be more cost effective than taking a commercial flight, said Brown.

“If it’s less than four people, it’s cheaper to go commercial. The things that would change that are if they’re carrying military working dogs, if they’re carrying [classified] material, or if they have any ammunition or weapons with them. Then that would validate the request for a C-12 with less than four people,” he said. “In these cases, though it’s more expensive, it has to be moved by military aircraft.”

Aviation Electrician’s Mate Airman Andrew Trujillo, a C-12 aircrewman attached to NSA Bahrain, said C-12 passengers can include distinguished visitors or high-level officials. However, these planes have also transported security dogs and their handlers, and once, some of the Philadelphia Eagles cheerleaders.

Trujillo said most weeks the C-12s have at least one flight a day due to the schedules of NSA Bahrain and Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command personnel who travel around the area of operations in support of the region’s ongoing maritime security operations.

Many of these passengers will work with coalition forces, which conduct maritime security operations throughout international waters in the Persian Gulf, Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman, Gulf of Aden, Indian Ocean, and the Red Sea.

MSO set the conditions for security and stability in the maritime environment as well as complement the counter-terrorism and security efforts of regional nations. MSO deny international terrorists use of the maritime environment as a venue for attack or to transport personnel, weapons or other material.

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