Hurricane Hunters reprimanded for picking up 1970 BMW motorcycle in Martha’s Vineyard with WC-130J

The sun sets behind a WC-130J Super Hercules aircraft Nov. 4 at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Shelton Sherrill)

Jesse Lieberman

The Sun Herald

Punishment has been handed down to members of the Mississippi Coast-based Hurricane Hunters after they made a detour to pick up a crew member’s personal motorcycle.

The crew made national news last month when they were spotted stopping off at Martha’s Vineyard and loading a motorcycle onto their plane.

At the time, Lt. Col Marnee Losurdo said an investigation had been triggered and could last a couple of weeks.

Losurdo announced in a press release Tuesday that members 403rd Wing aircrew responsible for the stop have faced “both administrative and aircrew qualification-related discipline for misuse of a WC-130J Super Hercules aircraft.”

The five-member crew made an impromptu stop at Martha’s Vineyard in March for less than a half hour. At the time, the Martha’s Vineyard Times reported crewmen were seen loading a vintage BMW motorcycle into the Super Hercules aircraft.

According to the press release, the motorcycle was a 1970 BMW R75/5, which belonged to a crew member.

“The personal stop was an abuse of government assets,” said the 403rd Wing Commander Col. Stuart M. Rubio in the press release. “We hold our reservists to the highest standards of conduct and these actions are not tolerated.”

The crew first left Keesler Airforce Base in Biloxi on March 24 and landed at Quonset Air National Guard Base, Rhode Island. Without their superiors knowledge, the next day the crew made the detour to Martha’s Vineyard before continuing their assigned mission, which was to pick up equipment from Mather, California, the press release said.

“Once leadership was notified of the incident March 27, they grounded the crew at Mather, and sent another crew to pick up the aircraft and Crew March 28,” the press release reads. “The motorcycle remains in California.”

This story was originally published May 11, 2022 2:14 PM.


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