MARINE CORPS AIR STATION KANEOHE BAY -- “The Ghost” landed on the runway at 4:15 p.m., June 13, 2013 at Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay. The C-20 jet safely arrived after returning from an 11-month trip to St. Louis for maintenance.
After arriving in St. Louis, the jet underwent hull repairs and an avionics update.
“The Ghost” received its name after being torn apart during a tornado and resurrected by a work crew. “The Ghost” is the only C-20 jet the Marine Corps currently owns.
“This C-20 jet is the staple of MCAS,” said Sgt. Maj. Ernest Rose, sergeant major of MCAS. “The jet’s main mission is to transport senior enlisted and officers to their appointed place of duty.”
“The Ghost” is capable of flying worldwide and logs approximately 1,500 hours of flight time per year. A six-man crew maintains the jet and ensures the jet is ready to take off for flight.
“We’re responsible for checking the jet balance, loading and unloading cargo and taking care of the passengers,” said Sgt. Mary Schloss, a loadmaster with MCAS. “‘The Ghost’ is scheduled to make three flights a day since its return, and we’re the ones whose jobs are to make those trips run as smoothly as possible.”
The jet isn’t just a private airliner, but it will also participate in different missions as well. The jet will be used to provide extra flight time for pilots and simulate different scenarios that could occur in reality.
“It’s great to have “The Ghost” back, and we’ll start training with it again soon,” said Sgt. John Cook, a crew chief with MCAS. “The maintenance crew will also practice loading procedures to help speed up the jet’s takeoff process.”
Even more, the “The Ghost” provides space available travel for military members.
Space-A travel is a means of transportation for Department of Defense personnel and military members, which is operated by a military transport agency of the DoD.
“It’s just another great thing about this jet,” Schloss said. “If we’re flying somewhere and there’s seating available on the aircraft, then military members are able to occupy those extra spaces.”
After landing on the runway at MCAS, the unit celebrated the aircraft’s homecoming with food and beverages. Families of the crew flying “The Ghost” from St. Louis attended the celebration to welcome home their loved ones.
“Being a part of this unit and being able to fly aboard ‘The Ghost’ on a daily basis is one of the greatest opportunities the Marine Corps has to offer,” Cook said. “The bottom line is we are happy to have ‘The Ghost’ back at MCAS, and we’re ready to get it back in the skies.”