433rd AW Commander Takes Final Flight in Support of U.S. Central Command

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Jacob Lewis
  • 433rd Airlift Wing

Col. William Gutermuth, 433rd Airlift Wing commander, Lt. Col. Christopher Jones, 356th Airlift Squadron commander, and members from the 68th AS from Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas completed a C-5M Super Galaxy cargo transportation mission that ultimately included stops in Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia and Naval Station Rota, Spain, all in support of combat units in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility on Apr. 11.

The mission, titled Reach 4020, moved over 100,000 pounds of cargo that included a HUMVEE and supported troops serving in hazardous duty zones. Gutermuth finished his final flight and successfully landed the C-5 here at JBSA-Lackland on Apr. 21. The successful mission is a fitting conclusion to Gutermuth’s long, honorable career.

With more than 5,000 mission flight hours, 350 of which are combat flying hours, Gutermuth deployed in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom and Noble Eagle, Inherent Resolve, and Freedom Sentinel. This final mission is just another example of his persistent leadership across varied Air Force units and missions he oversaw in his career.

Gutermuth emphasized the mission can only get done with the support of the agencies and individuals that are part of his team and highlighted their importance.

“The Reach 4020 mission is our operational squadron’s bread and butter,” said Gutermuth. “When the combatant commander needs to move a lot of cargo fast, the 68th AS responds with highly trained professional crew members. They don’t, however, hack the mission alone. It takes maintenance, aerial port, logistics, command post, financial management, medical, comm, security forces and a host of other support agencies to get the Air Force’s biggest jet off the ground. The crew was pleased to integrate Public Affairs into this mission as it provided the opportunity to share the success of a single mission with those supporting Airmen who make it happen every day. The C-5 Galaxy is aptly named as it takes a constellation of dedicated Airmen to assure a successful mission.”