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Capt Spanky flies with C-130s

Capt. Spanky flies high this week in a C-130J Super Hercules. (U.S. Air Force Graphic)

Capt. Spanky flies high this week in a C-130J Super Hercules. (U.S. Air Force Graphic)

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany -- "It's a nice and sunny day there are treats and cheese waiting for me. There is nothing that can stop me." I told this line to myself again and again trying to calm myself down over the "roud" roar of the C-130J Super Hercules engines.

In reality it would be hours before the sun came up. The only thing waiting for me was a doggie barf bag and a loadmaster looking at me like I was going to "mark my territory." I mean I may have had the thought cross my mind but these guys work hard; I didn't need to make it harder.

Once I finally got my footing and my ears got adjusted it was a very smooth flight, several thousand feet in the air. The hum and slight rocks put me to sleep. My pilots were flying to France to participate in a French-led exercise. They were doing the mission and making things happen.

Yet, my dear fans, I wish I could tell you that everything was smooth and that I lived up to my legend - no, no, no, nope.

We met up with French C-130s and got ready to participate in low-level flying. I should have known by the grins around me that this was going to be a trip. We lifted off and flew like I had gotten used to. I said goodbye to the ground and was getting ready to sleep, and all of a sudden I feel a jerk. I look out the window and I see the ground coming close; I look at the loadmaster. He smiles at my terrified face as he yells out, "tactical maneuvers." The sweet hum and rock of the plane becomes a roar and the true meaning of turbulence hit me. I look at the window; I see a French castle getting closer and closer. I can't take it, my poor body can't take it and I drop a few 2nd Lt. Spankys, thankfully they had the facilities on the plane.

All things considered they had the facilities on board for me. Once they reach a few hundred feet from the ground they leveled out. Yet, it was nothing like several thousand; it was rocky. It gave me the same feeling I got when I ate that green cheese with some leaves growing on it, not a good idea.

I pushed through it because it was for the mission; the Airmen on board were training and building relationships with our allies. Thankfully, we completed the mission and flew back to Ramstein before I had to use the doggie bags again.

During this trip, I saw so many Airmen working together like a seamless machine each knowing where to go, what to do. I saw just the tip of the amount of Airman that it takes to get just one C-130 in the air. It makes me sit in wonder as I look over the flight line.