A Texas ship crew needed a lift home, so a Texas aircraft is on its way to bring them back.
The VR-59, known as “The Lone Star Express,” a Fort Worth-based Navy transport squadron, sent a C-40A Clipper to Singapore on Sunday for a crew swap of the USS Fort Worth.
The USS Fort Worth is deployed to Singapore as part of the Navy’s strategic presence in the Pacific. In recent weeks its crew has been helping in the search mission for AirAsia Flight 8501, which crashed Dec. 28 in the Java Sea.
“The challenge that the LCS [littoral combat ship] community faces was to determine the most operationally effective and cost-efficient method to swap their crews,” Cmdr. Ben Fay, commanding officer of the VR-59, said in a news release. “Almost immediately, the concept of managing a wholesale crew swap using Navy’s own airlift assets emerged as the best solution. Being based out of Fort Worth ourselves, we’re more than honored to support our shipmates deployed with the USS Fort Worth.”
The Lone Star Express is attached to the Navy’s Fleet Logistic Support Wing and operates three C-40As, a cargo/passenger variant of the Boeing 737-700, out of Naval Air Station Fort Worth.
The aircraft, with a fresh crew for the deployed ship, will return the USS Fort Worth crew to San Diego. The crew in Singapore has been on a six-month deployment.
Domingo Ramirez Jr., 817-390-7763