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The 10th Military Airlift Squadron (MAS) Sherpa Society was established in 1995 by former squadron members who were stationed together at Zweibrucken Air Base, Germany during the time frame from 1984 to 1991. The primary mission of the Sherpa Society is to offer former members a means of maintaining contact and to continue the friendships that flying and supporting the C- 23A created.

The 10th Air Transportation Squadron was reactivated and redesignated the 10th Military Airlift Squadron on 15 January 1984. The 10th MAS operated 18 Short Bros C-23A Sherpa aircraft from Zweibrucken AB Germany to provide regular daily logistics support flights to United States Air Force Europe (USAFE) bases as part of the European Distribution System (EDS). 10th MAS members designed the EDS “hub” and “spoke” route structure to meet USAFE’s logistical requirements to cut down the delivery time for critical spare parts. Daily, from 1984-1991, 10th MAS C-23A aircraft, flew spare parts throughout the European theater. The EDS route structure was designed so that each day parts from one base could be trans-loaded and carried to any destination base. Additionally, the short haul, high frequency nature of the EDS flights enabled pilots to rapidly build flying hours and experience. The Military Airlift Command used the 10th MAS to allow first assignment pilots direct from pilot training to build flying experience that would enable them to move directly in to the left seat of larger transport aircraft such as the C-5, C-141, and C-130. Many ex-10th MAS members have become senior Air Force and civilian industry leaders. Over a hundred ex-10th MAS pilots are flying as Captains and First Officers for major airlines around the world.

The “fall of the wall” and end of the Cold War resulted in a significant reduction of US forces in Europe. The 10th MAS was de-activated in 1991. Most of the 18 C-23A aircraft were flown by 10th MAS crews in “a last adventure” back to the United States for turnover to other government agencies. Today, many of the former 10th MAS C-23 Sherpas are still flying; supporting the Army Reserve and National Guard, the US Forest Service and other federal agencies.

The Sherpa Society exists as a result of the friendship and bonds developed between 10th MAS members while supporting and flying an ugly, slow, but exceptionally fun aircraft.

 


   
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