An An-124 recently visited at Naval Air Facility (NAF) El Centro to load British Chinooks for their return to the UK.
On Aug. 14, an Antonov 124 of the “Antonov Design Bureau” (Ukraine’s state-owned company currently known as Antonov State Company), visited NAF El Centro, in Southern California. The huge cargo, departed the following day and flew to RAF Brize Norton via Detroit.
The An-124 has become something of a regular visitor to El Centro, moving helicopters from a number of NATO forces (such as British, Danish, Dutch and German) to the local base where they train in “hot and high” conditions prior to deployments to Afghanistan.
El Centro’s ready access to large ranges with desert and mountainous terrain (Chocolate Mountains and Yuma, AZ range) make it an ideal location for cost effective pre-deployment training. Aircraft can depart El Centro and be on range within a matter of minutes making helicopter training particularly efficient.
Todd Miller lives in MD, US where he is an Executive at a Sustainable Cement Technology Company in the USA. When not working, Todd is an avid photographer of military aircraft and content contributor.