Airmen assigned to Pacific Air Forces now have a dedicated flight to take them directly into the U.S. Central Command theater when they leave for deployments. The first contracted airlift flight from Japan cut the trip from the previous four-to-five days to 23 hours. The flight originated at Yokota, flew to Kadena for refueling and passenger pickup, and took a direct route to a forward-deployed location in Southwest Asia. Besides cutting down travel time, the new flights will save on commercial airline ticket costs and eliminate excess commercial baggage fees. They also will reduce the complications of moving weapons through foreign commercial airports, and will save money and improve security for Airmen, said Lt. Col. Jeff Fetner, chief of PACAF-AEF. Previously, all contracted flights into Southwest Asia originated from the East Coast of the United States.