US Army Making Themselves at Home at Shannon Airport

  • Posted on: 6 May 2024
  • By: shannonwatch
Omni Air Shannon 06.05.2024

Shannon Airport was awash with US Army personnel this morning (May 6th), as two plane loads of troops sat around the duty free waiting to be brought home.

Omni Air International flight OAE574 / OY574 left Shannon with the first plane load of troops at 6 minutes past midday, on its way to Hunter Air Force Base in Savannah, Georgia. It had also been at Shannon yesterday, arriving at around 21.10 and leaving at 23.40.

Atlas Air N662GT, with flight callsign CMB588 left at 14:51, also on its way to Savannah. The troops on board had arrived at Shannon on May 4th, coming from NATO exercises in Poland, and had to sleep overnight at the airport as there were no hotels available.


This is still a regular occurrance at the airport. Troops are given Swissport transit cards, and told to wait in the lounge area. They dring a pint or two of Guinness and do some shopping if they are on the way home. Most are relieved to be going home, and are anxiously waiting to meet their families again.

In terms of employment there are few enough options for many of the soldiers. But once they join and go abroad, their lives are regulated and controlled by their military bosses, they are away from family and miss important events, often to the detriment of their relationships. 

In terms of overseas deployments, there were over 228,390 US military personnel stationed in foreign countries as of September 2023 according to USAFacts (a website that aims to make US government data accessible). 168,571 of thses were active-duty troops. The top five countries with the highest number of stationed US troops were Japan (53,246), Germany (35,188), South Korea (24,159), Italy (12,405), and the United Kingdom (9,949). The troops are stationed at US-owned and operated military bases.

Shannon is not officially one of the US foreign military bases. But on days like today it looks a lot like one.

Finally for today, he Omni Air and Atlas Air troop carriers weren't the only US military planes at Shannon this morning. A US Air Force Boeing 737 registration 02-0042, probably diplomatic, was also there this morning coming from Macdill Air Force Base in Florida. It has since flown on to Egypt.