C-21 makes final flight at Yokota

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- After more than 62,000 mishap-free flying hours and 21 years of service, Yokota Air Base's C-21 transport jet ended its service here as base officials held a ceremony honoring the final departure of the C-21 June 29.

The base's four C-21s with the 459th Airlift Squadron have been replaced by three C-12J Hurons, a twin-turboprop aircraft that landed moments after the last C-21 took off.

"I really enjoy flying the C-21," said Capt. Christopher Garnett, one of the last C-21 pilots remaining at Yokota AB. "I really enjoy living here, but it's kind of exciting to get to move on and it's an exciting change for Yokota to get something new."

"I loved the C-21. It was an exciting plane, really fun to fly," said 1st Lt. Michael Maughan, a C-21 pilot at Yokota AB who will now be flying with the new C-12. "It's a little sad to see it go, but I'm excited to learn a new aircraft and continue the mission."

The C-21's final destination is Scott Air Force Base, Ill. With the C-12 at Yokota AB, many possibilities now exist that weren't available before.

"It has the ability to move more people and equipment for any given sortie and it has the ability to go to some airfields we weren't able to go to before," Lieutenant Maughan said.