What the heck is the "Patriot Express" (sometimes referred to as a "rotator"?")

That's Air Mobility Command's name for its commercial charter flights. Other nicknames/Acronyms for the Patriot Express are Pat-eX, PE, rotator or "Freedonm Bird" (to some old-timers).    AMC contracts a certain number of seats on charters with commercial carriers because it is an economical, efficient way of moving large numbers of personnel where they need to go. Charter seats not filled by official fliers are assigned for a small fee (Head Tax and Inspection Fees) to Space-Available travelers. The process for signing up for Space-A travel is the same as other military flights. Patriot Express flights have the usual commercial airline amenities. The flights are at least equal to the commercial economy class and, in some cases, a bit better. For instance, travelers on some flights can expect hot towels, free movies and headsets, and more leg room than found on most commercial airlines. West coast Patriot Express flights depart and arrive via Seattle-Tacoma International (SeaTac) Airport to Kadena, Yokota, Iwakuni and Misawa (also Yokota-Singapore).

East coast Patriot Express departures depart and arrive via Baltimore-Washington International (BWI) Airport and Norfolk NAS to Europe (Germany, Italy, Azores, Greece and Spain). For further information on the Patriot Express, read through the AMC Patriot Express Brochure. Note: The Patriot Express was reduced several years ago and as a result Atlanta IAP, Los Angeles, Rhein-Main AB, and RAF Mildenhall are no longer used as Patriot Express departure points. See the Patriot Express News Articles for more info on the history. Don't despair fellow Space-A travelers, even though Patriot Express flights have been reduced opportunities for space-A travel still exist on military aircraft to/from the usual military bases.