My Headquarters Pacific Division (PACO) at Hickam Fields, Hawaii, assumed command of Travis Air Force Base, Calif., from Strategic Air Command (SAC), on July 1, 1958.
We were now Western Transport Air Force (WESTAF). My new boss was Major General Russell L. Waldron. Our area of command was from the Mississippi River to Japan.
The Military Air Transport Service (MATS) Regulation 23-1 I published on July 21, 1958. WESTAF’s mission combined wartime readiness training, logistical airlift operations (such as the deployment of units and supplying them by airdrops), the operation of an aero-medical evacuation system within the continental United States, and the maintenance of a peacetime schedule for the airlift of cargo and passengers.
I was in charge of the printing department for this fine headquarters, both overseas and stateside, for 13 years.
The assignment of B-52 Stratofortress jets to Travis required the construction of additional maintenance facilities and other preparations. Each runway was extended to more than 11,000 feet, and widened by 300 feet.
A new expanded parking apron and maintenance areas were added as well.
Travis Air Force Base had truly entered the Jet Age.
Contributing writer Everett Vanover lives in Fairfield, Calif.