A C-17 crew from Charleston Air Force Base is being credited for helping direct a distressed military bomber home after it lost some of its navigation powers over Afghanistan recently.
The C-17 diverted course 150 miles to escort a disabled B-1 Lancer in for a safe landing at an undisclosed base outside Afghanistan, the Air Force said.
"We were working a complex situation on the ground with some guys taking some fire, and we lost our navigation instruments," said the B-1's pilot, Capt. Gavin O'Brien, deployed from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D. "The C-17 heard us having some trouble in the radio and offered to bring us home."
After command and control relayed the bomber's coordinates, the C-17 detoured to lead the Lancer in. "They were up there flying blind more or less" and "had no way of navigating back out of country," said Capt. Justin Taylor, the C-17 commander assigned to the 816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron.
Taylor is on a deployment from Joint Base Charleston. The group is expected home later this fall.