C-17 makes cameo in Hawaii Five-0

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Mike Meares
  • 15th Wing Public Affairs
One of the stars in the hearts and minds of the men and women at the 15th Wing made its first cameo in T.V.'s hottest new television show, Hawaii Five-0.

Film crews for Hawaii Five-0 teamed up Oct. 11 with Airmen at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam to film scenes for the Nov. 15 airing of the television episode. Though the C-17 wasn't the star, its commanding presence wasn't missed during scenes filmed on location at Hickam's flightline. Airmen worked alongside the stars of the show and the film crew.

"It was exciting for the H50 crew to work alongside such amazing technology and equipment on this historic and active base," said Brad Turner, Hawaii Five-0 director. "The cooperation from the crew members on the plane and the ground crew was great. We couldn't ask for a better day."

Episode 9, "Po'ipu," a Hawaiian word meaning "The Siege," involves the Five-0 team trying to unfold the details of an assassination attempt of a ruthless dictator during his visit to the Islands for an aid summit. From his arrival on a C-17, the Five-0 team must protect the dictator and his family, uncover the assassination plot and investigate the murder of a security detail member involved with the visit who knew details of the planned assassination.

The Air Force plane's role was minimal in the script, but it was a key piece in the story and allowed the writers and the director to get the main antagonist of the story in and out of Hawaii. According to the filming crew, the C-17 had a huge presence in the filming of the scene in the episode and the authenticity is second to none.

"First and foremost, it creates an environment that exceeds anything we could manufacture or create on a sound stage or inactive base on location," the director said. "In any film and television project, you strive for an authentic look. The opportunities that we have working with the military at this level -- and being invited onto Hickam makes our job so much easier and pays homage to the men and women who are involved in real situations every day."

"What a great opportunity to highlight the dynamic mission and selfless service of our Air Force Airmen stationed in the great state of Hawaii," said Col. Sam Barrett, 15th Wing commander. "Any chance we have to share even a glimpse of what our Airmen do every day, especially to an international audience, is something special."

Colonel Barrett said he is proud to lead a group of Airmen in a strategic location in the Pacific region operating an Air Force weapon system that fits in the personality of a high-octane television series.

"Day and night, the C-17 delivers personnel and supplies in support of humanitarian, peace keeping and wartime contingencies to every land mass on the globe," the wing commander said. "What a fitting weapon system to feature on an internationally watched TV show."

"It's always great to participate in a new series and get the Air Force involved early, not only from a storyline perspective but also from a partnership perspective," said Lt. Col. Francisco Hamm, U.S. Air Force Entertainment Liaison Office director. "In this case, having a lead character who is a Reserve Navy officer in Hawaii, coupled with the key location of the show, lends itself to Air Force involvement within the series."

According to Colonel Hamm, whose recent Hollywood projects involving the Air Force include advising Transformers 3, having the creative minds and vision of the film industry provides the Air Force an opportunity to be positively portrayed to a wide audience.

"The Air Force has a ton of real-world cool, riveting, emotional, uplifting and dramatic stories to share and these entertainment opportunities allow the Air Force to have a voice," Colonel Hamm said. "I think in this day and age of the 24-hour news cycle being very crowded, it's refreshing to have another strategic outlet for Air Force stories that can rise above the noise and be able to educate, inform and entertain, not only the American public, but many times to a worldwide audience as well."

Filming of Hawaii Five-0 on Hickam was a win-win situation for many. It was a wing for the Air Force by showcasing America's Airmen and the technology they employ everyday and a win for the show's pursuit of authenticity. The director explained that working with Hickam Airmen was nothing short of a pleasurable experience and said the Airmen are "amazing professionals."

"When we had issues with sound and the engines due to the wind, the ground and air crew worked creative solutions to stop the noise," Mr. Turner said. "This helped us complete our mission to get clear sound and when we finished post production we realized that the noise had cleared and no ADR (replacing location sound with sound from the sound booth) was necessary. This was due to the efforts of our Air Force crew."

Filming on the flightline might have only been a one day event, but the experience will not be forgotten any time soon for those involved.

"We hope that this was the first of many opportunities we have to showcase Hickam," Mr. Turner said.