"The Gateway Wing" gets new plane

932nd Airlift WingThe 932nd Airlift Wing, the only Air Force Reserve Command flying wing in Illinois, received its third C-40C distinguished visitor aircraft, as it arrived directly from the factory in Seattle. When the country's top military and civilian leaders fly on missions around America and the world, Air Force Reservists at Scott Air Force Base are ready to make sure the leaders receive the best care in the air. The Air Force Reservists are part of a select group of military flight attendants who are members of the 73rd Airlift Squadron, within the 932nd Airlift Wing, an Air Force Reserve Command unit located at Scott Air Force Base, Ill. The wing currently flies VIP airlift missions on both the C-9C aircraft and the newer C-40C. In addition to the maintainers on the ground and the pilots who fly the aircraft, it takes a special person to make in flight service for high-level passengers -- to include the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the First Lady of the United States, the secretary of State, secretary of the Interior, the CIA director and the speaker of the House, just to name a few -- the top priority at 28,000 feet while also juggling many other duties. Tech Sgt. Tom Otten is one of those special flight attendants. "I love being a flight attendant because it gives me the opportunity to truly live the motto of service before self," Sergeant Otten said. "Our entire job revolves around putting others first and caring for their needs above our own. The amount of planning, flexibility and hard work that it takes to fly a mission is something that I find very challenging and very rewarding."

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