AF Reservist returns home from Afghanistan

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Jeff Walston
  • 913th Airlift Group
Family, friends and co-workers welcomed home Maj. Jason Furcron from a deployment to Kabul, Afghanistan Sunday. Furcron is a U.S. Air Force Reserve C-130J pilot assigned to the 913th Airlift Group at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark.

During his six-month deployment, which began in August 2017, Furcron was assigned to the 538th Air Expeditionary Advisory Squadron, 438th Air Expeditionary Advisory Wing at Kabul. His duties included training, advising and assisting as an Air Advisor and C-130H Instructor.

The 913 AG began the transition from the C-130H to C-130 J in 2015, but was identified to send one pilot to Kabul to be an air advisor to the Afghan air force (AAF) in 2017. Since the AAF flies the C-130H, Furcron spent the five months prior to his deployment transitioning from the C-130J back to the C-130H. He had to relearn to fly and operate the C-130H again as an instructor so he would be able to teach the Afghan pilots how to properly execute their mission.

“Fortunately, I have done this a couple of times before,” said Furcron. “I began my career with the HC-130H, so the conversion was not difficult. I definitely have to consider the transition for the difference crew sizes, but that’s not very difficult, and doing it with a Guard unit, is like coming home in a sense.”

Furcron also served as a scheduler and squadron Safety and Air Command and Control Center Advisor. He completed operational missions as an instructor pilot with the AAF, transporting both passengers and supplies to various airfields around the country. He taught Afghan pilots instrument flying, how to work and interpret the aircraft's weather radar system as well as how to fly in high altitude, mountainous environments.

“At Kabul, the mission is to reinforce the flying skills Afghan pilots already possess and refine those skills to maximize the capabilities of the C-130H aircraft,” said Lt. Col. Scott E. Lawson, the 327th Airlift Squadron operations officer. “The secondary mission is to continue to build relationships and further strengthen the bonds between members of the US Air Force and AAF. The end goal is to help the AAF fly and employ the C-130H as an effective airlift asset independent of U.S. Air Advisors.”

For Furcron, the day to day flying events is what he found most rewarding.

“Definitely the best part of the whole deployment was working one on one with Afghan pilots at the unit level every day and building the relationship between our forces,” Furcron said.

Furcron deployed to Afghanistan with other C-130 crew members from around the Air Force Reserve Command.