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C-130 Hercules News

C-130 Hercules News from around the web

  • Casey

    “We aim for first pass success. One pass, one drop,” said Maj. Josh Linden, the 386th Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron chief of tactics, as he described the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing’s airdrop mission.  
    The 386th AEW conducted several combat airdrop missions over the past few months, including one over the weekend, in direct support of Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve ground troops.  
    Providing the fuel that keeps the fight going, the 386th AEW has delivered more than 80 tons of food, water and other critical supplies to various supported forces throughout the U.S. Air Forces Central Command area of responsibility. 
    “We are resupplying the warfighters on the ground to sustain their ground operations in the fight against ISIS,” said Capt. Michelle Urso, the 386th EOSS flying intelligence squadron’s officer in charge. 
    When secure runways are not available for aircraft to land, dropping container delivery system bundles into hostile areas becomes necessary, but getting this close to the fight does not come without inherent risk. 
    “We are conducting airdrop missions for a reason,” said Urso. “Being a target to be shot down is not out of the realm of possibility for these types of mission.” 
    Compared to the traditional air-land mission, where the plane takes off, lands and supplies are off-loaded; airdrop missions are more complex and require a lot more coordinating and planning, according to Linden.  
    “As intel, we work with multiple agencies, sift through all of the current intelligence products and gather the most pertinent data,” said Urso. “From there we analyze the threats and work with tactics to ensure that we have the safest possible routing for our aircrew.” 
    “Every airdrop is different, even if we go to the same place twice in a row on two different days,” said Linden. “The geo-political climate is different, the threat picture is different, and even the supported forces who are on the ground might be different day to day. Every airdrop is unique out here in the AOR and we take it drop by drop to go plan it.” 
    These airdrop missions, delivering critical supplies to the frontlines, are what the C-130 Hercules crews work so hard and train for, said Maj. Timothy Lang, the 386th EOSS operations officer. 
    “It’s a challenging mission, but any one C-130 crew would raise their hand for and jump at the opportunity to execute a combat airdrop,” said Lang. “As the OSS operations officer, I can tell you our squadron brings a team effort from numerous players who are behind the scenes, but still play a pivotal role in a mission’s success.” 
    From tactics to intelligence to the weather section these teams work together days before the drop, planning and preparing the aircrew for any contingency that could arise. There are aircrew flight equipment personnel, who ensure that the aircrew’s gear is functioning properly, and airfield operations personnel, who make sure everything is in order at the airfield here so that the aircrew can launch without issues. All of the operations support functions combine their efforts to ensure a safe and effective mission execution with first pass success.
    Source: http://www.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/1224179/386th-aew-deliver-critical-supplies-to-frontlines/
     

  • Casey

    As the sun slowly rose over the eastern horizon, 19 C-130 aircraft, both Hercules and Super Hercules models, made their way across the Nevada landscape. While the aircraft progressed towards their target, the gorges and canyons below seemed like nothing more than a web of cracks across the countryside.
    A 94th Airlift Wing C-130 Hercules and its aircrew were among these planes and, along with more than 90 other aircraft, participated in the Joint Forcible Entry Exercise, hosted and led by the current graduating class of the United States Air Force Weapons School, to practice conducting large multi-platform operations within a contested degraded environment.
    “The operation was to neutralize enemy forces within an area that severely limits our abilities, and then conduct aerial insertion of our own troops,” said Capt. Brandon Calhoun, 700th Airlift Squadron aircraft commander. “We had to deal with radar and communications jamming while also being able to maneuver the aircraft and work with our crew.”
    The exercise, known as JFE Vul, utilized a large formation of aircraft to conduct low-level airdrops of ground troops within a simulated enemy environment, and included objectives such as neutralizing highly-sophisticated and well-coordinated defensive capabilities. While flying, the 700th AS pilots flew at low altitudes and performed evasive maneuvers, and also flew with a host of fighter and bomber aircraft, including A-10 Thunderbolts, F-15 Strike Eagles, F-16 Fighting Falcons, B-1 Lancers and B-52 Stratofortresses.
    “During the exercise, we had to deal with air-to-air and surface-to-air threats,” said Maj. Mike McNulty, 700th AS flight navigator. “The enemy also had infrared and radio frequency jamming capabilities.”
    To accomplish the simulated mission, the USAFWS put together an operation that hosted a number of different platforms, totaling to more than 100 participating aircraft and 40 participating units from across the U.S.
    “There is a lot to be learned when integrating with other platforms,” said Calhoun. “Actually using so many different aircraft with different capabilities really prepares you to operate efficiently in a real world operation, and it is a great learning opportunity to see how to make processes better.”
    Because of the massive scale of the exercise, the aircrew from Dobbins had to adapt and overcome challenges not usually present in training, and through those challenges were able to better understand what to expect if there was ever such a real-world situation.
    “Communication was a huge challenge,” said Calhoun. “When you have more than 100 aircraft, most on the same frequency, all doing different missions, there is a lot of information. You’re constantly hearing statuses or mission calls, so you have to compartmentalize, filter, and determine what is important to your mission, all while piloting an aircraft, conducting maneuvers, and communicating with your own crew.”
    The exercise’s execution lasted one day, but in that short time it allowed for the 94th AW to demonstrate its capability to support the Air Force’s ability for air superiority and rapid global mobility, as well as acting in a joint command and control environment.
    Source: http://www.dobbins.afrc.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/1224186/dobbins-flies-with-more-than-100-aircraft-in-joint-forcible-entry-exercise/

  • Casey

    Lockheed Martin officials launched the C-130J-SOF at the Paris Air Show on 20 June, the first ever special operations forces (SOF)-configured production variant of the Super Hercules transport aircraft to be offered for export.
    The baseline C-130J-SOF comes in an ISR configuration that features an electro-optic/infrared imaging system in a turret under the nose, upgraded 60/90 KVA generators and 400 amp regulated transformer rectifier units that double the original electrical capacity of the C-130J, an armor protection system and lower fuselage protection for improved survivability under hostile fire, added crew stations for mission systems, automatic dependent surveillance - broadcast (ADS-B) out positioning technology, micro vanes to increase fuel efficiency, and external fuel tanks for increased range and mission loiter time.
    To this baseline, however, can be added a number of SOF-specific capabilities, including a palletized roll-on/roll-off GAU-23 Bushmaster 30 mm automatic cannon, Hellfire air-to-surface missiles located on outer wing hard points, a refueling probe or UARRSI system to receive fuel air to air; and a hose-and-drogue system to dispense fuel air to air.
    The C-130J-SOF's mission set would initially cover ISR operations, psychological operations, airdrop resupply, personnel recovery, humanitarian relief, as well as infiltration, exfiltration, and resupply of SOF personnel. With the added special mission equipment options, the aircraft could also perform armed over watch duties, helicopter/fighter/vertical lift aerial refueling, and forward area refueling point (FARP) operations.
    Briefing reporters at the Paris Air Show, Tony Frese, vice-president for business development for air mobility and maritime missions for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, explained that the C-130J-SOF would be produced on the same production line in Marietta, Georgia, as all the other nine C-130J variants. He said the internal plumbing and wiring required for add-on capabilities, such as the aerial refueling systems and for firing Hellfire missiles, would be built into the C-130J-SOF as the most efficient way to facilitate future upgrades and that most of these systems "are already flying on users' C-130Js, so it's proven technology".
    Source: http://www.janes.com/article/71598/paris-air-show-2017-lm-launches-production-sof-variant-of-c-130j-for-export

  • Casey

    NP2000 Propeller System is offering improved performance and lower operating costs for U.S. and Foreign operators

    - The NP2000 propeller system offers eight composite blades, an improved electronic control system, and a significant reduction in maintenance man hours of previous generation propeller systems

    - The NP2000 propeller system is now in service on the LC-130, C-130H, E-2 and C-2 aircraft, and is planned for use on the P-3

    - With more than 100 years of experience, UTC Aerospace Systems is a proven leader in the design, manufacture and servicing of propeller systems 
     
    UTC Aerospace Systems, a unit of United Technologies Corp. announced today that propeller upgrades for the U.S. Air National Guard LC-130 aircraft commenced this month with the  fitting of the NP2000 propeller system.  The retrofit contract includes twelve of the U.S Air National Guard's fleet of LC/C-130H aircraft.
    The C-130H, long considered the workhorse of militaries worldwide, is a versatile, four-engine turboprop military aircraft designed to transport troops and military equipment—with an advantage of taking off and landing on unprepared or short runways. The eight all-composite blades, improved electronic control system, and reduced support costs of the NP2000 propeller system offers the C-130H better performance and greater reliability—helping to ensure the aircraft and its crew are mission-ready.
    We are thrilled to help the U.S. Air National Guard extend the life of its C-130H aircraft fleet and to enhance the reliability of this exceptional aircraft," said Jean-Francois Chanut, General Manager, Propeller Systems, UTC Aerospace Systems. "We look forward to retrofitting these 12 aircraft, and helping the U.S. National Guard accomplish many successful missions in the years to come."
    The NP2000 propeller system, with its proven technology, offers several benefits to operators, including a reduction in vibration and noise; an increase in thrust; and associated fuel savings—depending on operating conditions. This next-gen propeller system also incorporates more electric and more intelligent technologies from UTC Aerospace Systems, including a digital electronic control system that improves speed holding and blade synchronization. These innovations provide greater comfort and safety for the crew as well as valuable fault diagnostics for maintainers. 
    "Another advantage of our NP2000 propeller system is the reduction in maintenance time and costs," added Chanut. "We designed the propeller so that operators can now replace individual blades on-wing instead of having to take off the entire propeller system. This design enhancement reduces the maintenance man hours and aircraft time on the ground, increasing the aircraft's availability. Foreign operators of the C-130 and P-3 are also evaluating upgrades with the NP2000 propeller system to ready their fleet."
    UTC Aerospace Systems has been designing, manufacturing and servicing propeller systems for more than 100 years. Its Propeller Systems business has three international sites and currently supplies and services a variety of propeller systems and critical flight control systems across commercial and military platforms around the world.    
    Source: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/utc-aerospace-systems-is-propelling-readiness-for-turboprop-aircraft-300476432.html

  • Casey

    The Air Force Reserve’s 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron is tasked to fly two tropical systems in the Gulf of Mexico today, one east of the Lesser Antilles and another south of the Yucatan.

    The Hurricane Hunters deployed to St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, over the weekend, and are scheduled to fly their first low level investigation mission today. Another crew will fly a LLI mission out of Keesler Air Force Base today into the system south of the Yucatan.

    LLI missions are flown at 500 to 1,500 feet to determine if the system has a closed low level center, indicating a storm is becoming more organized and increasing in strength, said Maj. Ryan Rickert, 53rd WRS aerial reconnaissance weather officer. He is a member of the only Department of Defense organization that flies into tropical storms and hurricanes, a mission that began in 1944.

    Once a system becomes a tropical storm or hurricane, the Hurricane Hunters begin flying “fix” missions, which are at higher altitudes, ranging from 2,500 to 10,000 feet depending on the severity of the storm, said Rickert. The squadron is scheduled to fly a fix mission tomorrow off the coast of the Yucatan.

    Aircrews fly through the eye of a storm four to six times to locate the low-pressure center and circulation of the storm. During each pass through the eye, they release a dropsonde, which collects weather data on its descent to the ocean surface, specifically gathering the surface winds and pressure.

    The data the Hurricane Hunters collect is sent by satellite communication to the National Hurricane Center to assist them with their forecasts and storm warnings.

    According the NHC, both systems have the potential to become tropical storms over the next 48 hours.

    “It’s important to be prepared. It’s why we do this, so we can have better forecasts and people have time to prepare and evacuate,” said Rickert.
    Source: http://www.afrc.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/1218912/air-force-reserve-hurricane-hunters-to-fly-first-tropical-systems-of-season/

  • Casey

    Lockheed Martin is giving a Paris air show debut to its new LM-100J commercial freighter, less than a month after its maiden sortie.
    Parked on the static display, the turboprop-powered aircraft is designed as a replacement for the 115 L-100 freighters the company delivered in the 1964-1992 period.
    Lockheed first flew the Rolls-Royce AE 2100D3-powered type on 25 May, and is already well on the way to wrapping up its test effort, with the US Federal Aviation Administration becoming involved "by August", says LM-100J chief test pilot Wayne Roberts.
    Advertisement: Replay Ad   Ads by ZINC 3             All test flights should be "done by year-end", he says, leading to FAA certification early next year, followed by delivery to an undisclosed launch customer.
    Roberts, who was aboard for the first flight, says: "It flies as wonderfully as it always has. For 60 years, it has operated into some of the shortest runways in the world.
    "It still does that extremely well, but it now has new avionics and engines too."
    Essentially a tweaked version of the C-130J tactical transport, the civil freighter benefits from the over 20 years and 1.5 million flight hours of the military model.
    In addition, features such as night-vision-goggle and air-drop capability will be transferred across to the LM-100J, although these will not be certificated initially.
    And although the C-130J is offered in both long- and short-fuselage variants, the freighter will only be sold in its longer, 34.37m (112ft 9in) guise.
    So far, Lockheed has amassed five firm orders from an undisclosed customer, as well tentative commitments of 10 aircraft each from ASL Aviation Group and Brazil's Bravo Industries.
    As well as cargo transport, Lockheed sees potential for the LM-100J to perform a number of missions including aerial firefighting, search and rescue, and VIP transport.
    "The C-130J can support 17 different missions and the LM-100J can support 13 of those," adds Roberts.
    Source: https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/paris-lockheed-martin-upbeat-on-lm-100j-prospects-438339/
     
     
     

  • Casey
     
    Lockheed Martin has begun flight tests of its LM-100J commercial freighter version of the C-130J Hercules military airlifter, with FAA certification planned for 2018. The aircraft made its first flight from Marietta, Georgia, on May 25. The LM-100J is one of a growing list of commercial products from the defense contractors, including the LMH-1 heavy-lift cargo hybrid airship and LM-XE small long-endurance unmanned aircraft system, which is based on the military Stalker XE.
    A second LM-100J is in final assembly, and first deliveries to the still-undisclosed launch customer are scheduled for 2018. The LM-100J is a version of the long-body C-130J-30 and a follow-on to the L-100 civil Hercules produced up to the early 1990s.
    The main changes from the C-130J are the deletion of military-specific hardware and software, including provisions for defensive countermeasures, secure communications and electronic warfare systems, formation lights and station-keeping equipment.
    The main external difference is the lack of lower windows below the windscreen. Internally, the LM-100J has a simpler gaseous-oxygen system rather than liquid oxygen. The Rolls-Royce AE21000-D3 engines, Dowty propellers and the cargo-handling system are the same as the C-130J’s.
    The LM-100J can carry a 40,000-lb. payload 2,450 nm. One of the target markets is in the development of remote areas, including mining and oil and gas exploration. Lockheed is also targeting this market with the LMH-1, which is designed to carry 47,000 lb. 1,400 nm but does not require runways. The hybrid airship is scheduled to fly in 2018, and deliveries are planned to begin in 2019. Lockheed Martin is at Chalet 324 and Static Display C2.
    Source: http://aviationweek.com/paris-air-show-2017/lockheed-begins-lm-100j-commercial-hercules-flights

  • Casey

    President Mauricio Macri visited the El Palomar Air Base, to inspect the first Hercules C-130 aircraft to undergo a modernization process entirely in the country. During his tour of the base, Macri spoke with Air Force aviators who operate these aircraft in humanitarian missions worldwide.
    The president was shown the details of the remodeling, escorted by the Defense Minister Julio Martínez and Air Force Chief-of-Staff Brigadier General Enrique Amrein among other high ranking military personnel.

    The Argentine Aircraft FADEA Factory modernized the aircraft with deadline-oriented domestic processes adapted from specifications from the United States. The entire remodeling took 10 months to be completed and involved more than 150 highly qualified technicians and engineers. Three additional C-130s are to undergo similar remodeling in the coming months.

    The aircraft registered TC-61 (c/n 4308 ) already completed a mission to Antarctica featuring new digital communication systems, navigation, digitization of in-cabin information , re-wiring and a new air conditioning system.
    Among the humanitarian missions the C-130s are usually chosen to perform is the assistance to victims such as those of an avalanche in Jujuy in March and the April floods in Comodoro Rivadavia a month ago as well as other natural catastrophes in Ecuador and Peru.

    In addition to that, the Hercules takes part in Antarctic missions thanks to its ability to operate at temperatures of minus 45 degrees Celsius. It crosses over 100 times per campaign from Rio Gallegos to the Argentine bases to bring in fuel, food and other types of supplies as well as personnel. It is also involved on a regular basis in scientific missions.
    Source: http://en.mercopress.com/2017/06/14/argentine-president-visits-first-hercules-completely-remodeled-in-the-country

  • Casey

    Belgium has temporarily withdrawn from service its 11 Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules transport aircraft due to safety concerns, national media reported on 9 June.
    The C-130H-variant aircraft operated by the Belgian Air Component (BAC) will remain grounded for two weeks while checks are carried out following repeated "abnormal functioning of flight controls", the Belga news agency quoted a military spokesperson as saying.
    The BAC's C-130Hs are assigned to 20 Tactical Transport Squadron at Melsbroek Air Base, near Brussels, and are used for a range of airlift missions including support of Belgian Armed Forces deployments around the globe.
    Of the 12 C-130Hs that were acquired by Belgium in 1972, one was lost in 1996 and another destroyed by fire in 2006. One of these two lost aircraft was replaced in 2009 by a former US Air Force C-130E that had been upgraded to C-130H standard.
    Source: http://www.janes.com/article/71363/belgium-grounds-c-130s-over-safety-concerns

  • Casey

    Lockheed Martin has received a $59 million contract modification from the U.S. Air Force for the delivery of four customized KC-130J fuselage trainers.
    The Defense Department said Friday that Lockheed’s rotary and mission systems unit will modify C-130 airframe trainer systems to replicate the appearance, functions and performance of the KC-130J aircraft.
    DoD noted that modified trainers will support load training and pre- and post-flight inspections on the aircraft’s interior and exterior settings.
    The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center obligated the full amount of the modification from the service branch’s fiscal 2015 and fiscal 2016 procurement funds.
    Work will occur in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Marietta, Georgia, through Dec. 31, 2021.
    Lockheed provides C-130J training devices as well as aircrew instruction, operations, engineering services and logistics support with the company’s C-130J maintenance and aircrew training systems.
    Source: http://blog.executivebiz.com/2017/06/lockheed-gets-59m-air-force-kc-130j-trainer-contract-modification/

  • Casey

    Lockheed Martin's LM-100J (c/n 5818) commercial freighter aircraft will make its international debut at the 2017 International Paris Air Show. The aircraft will be on static display June 19-21 at Paris-Le Bourget Airport.
    The LM-100J represents the 17th different mission capability for the C-130J Super Hercules platform and is an updated version of the L-100 cargo aircraft, which Lockheed Martin produced from 1964-1992. The LM-100J made its first flight on May 25, 2017.
    "The LM-100J has performed remarkably well in flight tests just two weeks after its first flight. Because of this strong performance, we decided to fly the LM-100J to Paris to be on display at the world's greatest airshow," said George Shultz, vice president and general manager, Air Mobility & Maritime Missions at Lockheed Martin. "The LM-100J's presence at the Paris Air Show truly places it on the world's stage, offering an opportunity to highlight its proven capabilities and unmatched versatility to the global commercial marketplace. We are honored to introduce the world to the LM-100J!"
    Members of the media are invited to tour the LM-100J daily from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. local time. Reporters do not have to RSVP and can arrive at the aircraft with show press credentials.
    Members of the media are also invited to a C-130J Super Hercules media briefing at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, June 20. An LM-100J program update will be provided and news about a C-130J military variant will also be shared. The event will be held at Salle 2 in the Paris Air Show Media Centre.
    Source: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/lockheed-martins-lm-100j-commercial-freighter-will-make-international-debut-at-2017-paris-air-show-300471925.html

  • Casey

    The 130th Airlift Wing paid tribute today to the supportive community in the Kanawha Valley of West Virginia by unveiling the newly christened “Spirit of the Kanawha Valley” C-130H (95-6710 c/n 5418 ) at McLaughlin Air National Guard Base.

    Col. Johnny Ryan, commander of the 130th AW, oversaw the plane naming ceremony held on the flight line overlooking the fleet of C-130s. Maj. Gen. James A. Hoyer, the Adjutant General of the West Virginia National Guard; Kent Carper, Kanawha County Commissioner president; Chief Master Sgt. of the West Virginia National Guard, James Dixon; and 130th Airlift Wing Command Chief Master Sgt., Kevin Cecil, were among the official party for the ceremony.

    Tail number 6710, an aircraft that has been in service for more than 22 years, was dubbed the “Spirit of the Kanawha Valley” as a reminder of the important link between the Air National Guard and the communities in which they serve.

    Hoyer underscored the significance of that link in his speech to the crowd, noting that it served as the foundation of the state militia, which later became the National Guard, and is integral part of our unique mission serving our communities and state.

    Ryan emphasized the important role that the citizens surrounding the 130th Airlift Wing play in his remarks.

    “The people of the Kanawha Valley represent the spirit of tenacity, hard work, and resiliency. This small acknowledgement will be a daily reminder to our crews of the importance of the work they do and the unwavering support they receive while doing it,” Ryan said. “The ‘Spirit of the Kanawha Valley’ is meant to remind our unit members and the people of the community that we are all connected. We have a proud heritage of service that predates even the Air Force here at McLaughlin Air National Guard Base, and this community has helped us to keep it alive. They have shown continuous support throughout our storied 70-year history and continue to back the men and women of this outstanding organization as we take on missions throughout the world.”

    The plane naming ceremony came to be because of a recommendation from the 130th Airlift Wing’s Chiefs Council, who sought a way to build morale through heritage and tradition.

    Chief Master Sgt. Larry Daugherty, 130th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Superintendent, explained, “We chose a name in an effort to tie our unit to the communities in which we live, in which we work, and in which we raise our families. We feel that it represents the way we work as a team and it’s an opportunity to give back to the community who supported us and also, it’s our way of showing we appreciated the support that the Kanawha Valley gives us, which allows us to do our jobs.”

    The “Spirit of the Kanawha Valley” is the first of four C-130Hs to be named from the 130th AW’s inventory of aircraft. Other names will include the “Spirit of Charleston,” “The General Mac,” in honor of founder of the West Virginia Air National Guard, Gen. James Kemp McLaughlin, and “The Spirit of West Virginia.”

    Unveilings and dedications of those aircraft will be held at a later date.

    Not since the late 1980s have aircraft from the 130th AW displayed names of cities or been dedicated to specific regions of the state.
    Source: https://www.dvidshub.net/news/237082/spirit-kanawha-valley-unveiled-130th-airlift-wing

  • Casey

    Spotting an iceberg is a thrill that lures many people to Newfoundland and Labrador, but nobody does it quite like the International Ice Patrol.
    This small unit of the United States Coast Guard watches the sea from the sky, keeping track of icebergs that endanger ships in the North Atlantic.
    The Ice Patrol uses the latest technology, but much of this crucial work is still done by people with binoculars. Marine Science Technician Brett Reel works as an ice spotter from a side window of the plane.
    "Today, we are flying north which is a busy flight." Reel said. "Every time it's a busy flight. Because all the icebergs are coming down the coast in the Labrador current. Today we've found probably three or four hundred, so far."
    The mission
    For the crew, the day begins at St. John's International Airport.
    A massive Hercules C-130 airplane is loaded with more than 20,000 kilos of fuel for the 10-hour round trip, to the northern tip of Labrador and back.
    Commander Gabrielle McGrath has worked with the Ice Patrol for nearly a decade.
    "The mission of the international ice patrol is to monitor the iceberg danger in the Atlantic Ocean, and provide relevant iceberg warning products to the maritime community." she said.
    "So this time of year, things are starting to slow down a little bit. That's one of the main goals of this flight is to see how many icebergs are up to the north, and how many we expect to come down for the rest of the season."
    The patrol may have a private plane, but this is no pleasure trip. Inside the Hercules, you'll find none of the comforts of commercial air travel. It's extremely loud; instead of a menu, the seat pockets contain life preservers, and every spare inch of space is crammed with equipment.
    Iceberg Alley
    On this flight, the patrol is going up and then down Iceberg Alley, the flow of ocean current that brings icebergs from Greenland, down the coast of Labrador and towards Newfoundland. But that current intersects with one of the world's busiest shipping lanes.
    "When we have icebergs in that area, we set an iceberg limit." says Commander McGrath. "Which is basically saying, if the ships stay to the south and east of that line, they'll stay out of the danger of iceberg collision. So they may have to adjust their course up to 400 miles out of their way to go around that dangerous area of icebergs."
    Sophisticated radar helps with ice detection, but up here, there are millions of pieces of ice floating on the surface. Brett Reel says that's where the crew comes in.
    "Sometimes the radar has a really hard time telling the difference between sea ice and an iceberg. An iceberg is coming from a glacier, normally from Greenland. And sea ice is just the surface of the ocean that's frozen." he said.
    All of the data is fed into a computer model, that creates a predictive map of iceberg locations.
    The International Ice Patrol was created in 1913, in the aftermath of the Titanic disaster. It has flown in every iceberg season since, except during the two world wars. Now, this season is winding down. But for the crew, the things they see from up here don't just get entered in a computer.
    Even today, we're flying only 400, 500 feet off the water, and you look down like, man that's really cool. I actually took video on my phone, because it doesn't get old." said Reel.
    Marine Science Technician Lauren Crocker is finishing her first year with the Ice Patrol. She says it's a posting she will never forget.
    "I think the most important thing is this is something that not everyone gets to do. It feels special, you feel like you're doing something that's not only important to the maritime community, but it's just so unique. How could you pass it up?"
    See source for more images and video: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/ice-patrol-1.4152145

  • Casey

    An airshow favorite across America, the C-130T transport known as Fat Albert has not attended an airshow since last July following the Blue Angels maintenance team’s decision to begin a complete overhaul on the aging aircraft. Bert’s maintenance at Hill Air Force Base in Utah has involved the removal and upgrade of it’s four turboprop engines; the removal and structural inspection of its wings; wiring inspections and repairs; and a complete paint removal followed by a new paint job.
    Bert’s prime job is the transportation of key support personnel and hardware from Pensacola Naval Air Station, the home of the Blue Angels, to each airshow site. Bert takes-off loaded with nearly 10,000 pounds of aircraft hardware, nearly sixty support members, and airshow logistics two days prior to an airshow.
    The blue, yellow, and white Lockheed Martin-built aircraft is a crowd favorite as Bert takes to the skies to begin the Blue Angels one hour long demonstration followed by the six Navy F/A-18 Hornets. Bert’s crew puts the aircraft through several maneuvers including several low passes and a short-field assault landing during it’s 12-minute demonstration.
    The squadron has used another KC-130T — nicknamed Ernie — in Bert’s place this year. Major Mark Hamilton, Major Mark Montgomery, and Major Kyle Maschner will perform the flying this season, while four crewmembers — GySgt. Beau Beville, Sgt. Anthony Black, GySgt. Jason Glatfelter, and GySgt. Stephen Stewart — make up the logistics crew.
    “Good to see my old friend again,” Maj. Hamilton said on Tuesday. The entire crew departed Hill, AFB aboard Fat Albert on Tuesday, and will make two stops this week en route to their arrival at NAS Pensacola on Friday.
    Fat Albert’s all-Marine crew will spend at least two weeks training aboard the C-130T prior to the aircraft’s official return. The Blue Angels have not announced an official return date for Fat Albert to an airshow site.
    Source: http://www.avgeekery.com/hes-back-blue-angels-c-130-fat-albert-poised-to-return-to-airshow-duty/

  • Casey

    There are now two fire air tankers at the Santa Maria Airport. 
    The C-130 typically stations out in Sacramento has been moved to Santa Maria after the base closed. The C-130 arrived Saturday and can hold 3,000 gallons of water or fire retardant. 
    Fire crews say they are ready for this fire season. 
    "Last winter was such a wet winter that the fire season this year on the West Coast is expected to maybe start later and last longer," said Matt Ringlein, the C-130 Air Tanker captain. "Some of these early season fires were a good fill-in. One of the other reasons we are down in Santa Maria is because there is not a lot of civilian and, or other agency tankers that are on status. We are on status."
    The other air tanker, a DC-10, has been assigned to the Santa Maria Air Tanker Base for the last two years. 
    Source: http://www.ksby.com/story/35595407/firefighting-airplanes-at-the-ready-at-santa-maria-airport

  • Casey

    Two 815th Airlift Squadron crews from Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi participated in a six-ship multinational airborne mission here in the Normandy region June 4, to commemorate D-Day 73.

    In the early morning hours of June 6, 1944, paratroopers from the 82nd and 101st Infantry Divisions dropped into France in the opening moments of what would become known as “The Longest Day.”

    Now, 73 years later, C-130J Super Hercules crews from the 815th AS join the 37th AS from Ramstein Air Base, Germany as well as French and German C-160s to drop 451 American, French, British, Dutch and German paratroopers and reenactors. The aircraft followed the same route C-47s did to drop paratroopers on D-Day.

    The 815th AS is one of nine historical units taking part in various events and ceremonies throughout the region. Now a C-130J tactical unit, the 185th AS was the 815th Bombardment Squadron during World War II.

    “I’m honored and humbled to be able to fly in such a historic event that celebrates and commemorates all of the people that took part and those that made the ultimate sacrifice,” said Capt. Nicholas Foreman, 815th AS pilot.

    The squadron flew multiple missions during this year’s week-long D-Day 73 commemoration, to include several flyovers.

    Overall, participation in D-Day 73 not only commemorates the D-Day heroes, it also demonstrates the steadfast commitment of the U.S. to its European allies and partners, Forman said.
    Source: http://www.youngstown.afrc.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/1203978/815th-airlift-squadron-drops-paratroopers-to-commemorate-d-day-73/

  • Casey

    Airmen from the Alaska Air National Guard accepted the first HC-130J Combat King II (14-5815, c/n 5815 )assigned to an U.S. Air National Guard unit at the Lockheed Martin facility.
    This HC-130J will be operated by the 211th Rescue Squadron (RQS), 176th Wing stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. The 211th RQS previously operated legacy HC-130P aircraft to support personnel recovery missions in Alaska and the Pacific Theater. These aircraft also act as aerial refuelers, providing support to the HH-60 Pave Hawk search-and-rescue helicopters that are also assigned to the 176th Wing. This is the first of four HC-130Js that will be delivered to the Alaska Guard.
    “The delivery of this HC-130J Combat King II represents a new era for both the Air National Guard and the Alaska Guard. This aircraft provides the increased capabilities and enhanced performance that is essential for these Airmen to support their search and rescue mission,” said George Shultz, vice president and general manager, Air Mobility & Maritime Missions at Lockheed Martin. “These men and women live their motto – ‘That Others May Live.’ We’re proud the HC‑130J Combat King fleet plays an essential role in supporting this commitment.”
    The HC-130J replaces HC-130N/P aircraft as the only dedicated fixed-wing personnel recovery platform in the Air Force inventory. The HC-130J supports missions in all-weather and geographic environments, including reaching austere locations. The HC-130J is also tasked for airdrop, airland, helicopter air-to-air refueling and forward-area ground refueling missions. It also supports humanitarian aid operations, disaster response, security cooperation/aviation advisory, emergency aeromedical evacuation and noncombatant evacuation operations. The HC-130J is also operated by active duty Air Combat Command personnel recovery units.
    The HC-130J is one of eight production variants of the C-130J Super Hercules, which is the world’s most proven and versatile airlifter. The C-130J is the airlifter of choice of 17 nations.
    Source: http://aviationtribune.com/military/air-national-guard-receives-first-hc-130j-combat-king-ii/

  • Casey

    With the recent first flight of the LM-100J commercial version of the C-130J Hercules, manufacturer Lockheed Martin has embarked on a year-long flight-test program that will involve two aircraft. The company expects to complete the type design update process with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration by next year.
    The inaugural freighter made its first flight on May 25 from Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta, Georgia, where Lockheed Martin shares a runway and conducts first flights of all production C-130s. Commanded by LM-100J chief test pilot Wayne Roberts, the aircraft flew for three hours over north Georgia and Alabama and returned to Dobbins.
    “This first flight is a source of pride for Lockheed Martin and serves as a proof-point to the ongoing versatility of the Super Hercules aircraft,” stated George Shultz, the company’s Marietta site general manager. “Like its military counterpart, the LM‑100J is exceeding all expectations in terms of performance and capabilities.”
    The number of flight hours Lockheed Martin will devote to FAA flight-test requirements is still being finalized, but the company said it expects to complete flight testing by the end of the year.
    Lockheed Martin reported having five orders and 20 letters of intent from customers to purchase the freighter. It declined to identify the launch customer.
    At the Farnborough Airshow in July 2016, Lockheed Martin announced that Arlington, Virginia-based Bravo Industries, a logistics group with an air cargo division in Brazil, plans to acquire 10 LM-100Js. Two years earlier at Farnborough, it announced a letter of intent from ASL Aviation Group of Ireland to acquire up to 10 of the freighters. The latter group includes Air Contractors of Ireland, Europe Airpost of France and Safair of South Africa, one of the largest operators of the earlier L-100 (L-382) variant.
    Source: http://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/air-transport/2017-06-02/lockheed-martin-embarks-lm-100j-freighter-flight-tests

  • Casey

    It’s true.  Good things really do come in small packages. This was recently proven out by the Tactical Airlift Program Office (PMA-207) C-130T Electronic Propeller Control System and Engine Instrument Display System (EPCS/EIDS) team.
    The three person EPCS/EIDS team’s actions resulted in installations of the systems in 19 KC-130 aircraft in record time -- on cost and ahead of the original schedule.
    "Driven by a funding line that was due to expire, the EPCS/EIDS team worked with the contracts team to award the contract just nine months after the formal source selection team was formed," said Doug Dawson, PMA-207 program manager.
    Working with industry, the installations were completed 15 months earlier than the scheduled completion date. EPCS and EIDS kits were fabricated and installed on 14 Marine Corps Reserve and five Navy Reserve KC-130T aircraft. Government furnished equipment kits were installed on 11 Marine Corps Reserve and five Navy Reserve KC-130T aircraft.
     "This effort is a very good example of the team accepting the technical and contracting challenges, and proceeding with low overall risk," said Rich Stowell, PMA-207 C/KC-130 Legacy Integrated Product Team Lead.
    "By upgrading the EPCS, we were able to reduce the maintenance time required for the system and improve aircraft readiness," said Stowell. "An added benefit is that the PMP stores propeller control data, including malfunctions, therefore assisting maintainers with troubleshooting and repairs."
    The EIDS installation replaced 43 obsolescent analog cockpit gauges with two flat panel displays.  The new displays not only provide better reliability, but significantly improve Human Systems Integration attributes.
    Source: http://www.navair.navy.mil/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.NavairNewsStory&id=6550

  • Casey

    Members of the 353rd Special Operations Group increased military cooperation with the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) during the fourth iteration of Exercise Teak Net, which took place April 15-18, 2017 at RNZAF Base Auckland and April 18-28, 2017 at RNZAF Base Woodbourne, New Zealand.

    “The military cooperation between the U.S. and New Zealand is important as we attempt to address some of the world’s greatest challenges,” said Col William Freeman, 353rd SOG commander. “Exercise Teak Net is a classic example of a perfect exchange in which we are learning a lot from our partners in the areas of maintenance, medical and flying operations. We have reciprocated through instruction on a few of our different techniques, tactics and procedures (TTPs).”

    After a 25-year absence, the 353rd SOG returned to New Zealand in 2014 to build-up the relationship with RNZAF 40th Squadron.

    “This year we focused on further developing our partnership capacity and interoperability with 40th SQDN through low-level formation work and tactical operations on night vision goggles (NVGs),” said Maj. Mark Schmidt, mission commander for Exercise Teak Net. “The professional foundations and friendships established over the previous three exercises enabled this year’s training to progress to the next level.”

    The group deployed with 40th SQDN to RNZAF Base Woodbourne as a part of their largest annual exercise.

    “While executing Exercise Teak Net, we were fortunate enough to deploy with our Kiwi partners as they conducted Exercise Skytrain,” said Schmidt. “We lived and worked in the same spaces and conduct daily sorties together, which has never happened before.”

    New Zealand’s unique mountainous terrain provided the ideal environment for the MC-130H Combat Talon II to conduct day and night visual low-level and operations with their terrain-following radar, which enables the 1st Special Operations Squadron to infiltrate areas undetected and at night by hiding in the terrain and weather.

    “This is some of the best flying and training I’ve ever had,” said Capt. Valerie Knight, 1st SOS MC-130H Combat Talon II weapons instructor pilot. “This trip is very comparable to the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) exercises that we do and the kiwis have done a great job of sharing what they’ve seen downrange and encompassing that into the scenario.”

    In addition to general flying operations, Special Operations Forces Medical Element (SOFME) personnel conducted a subject-matter expert exchange with RNZAF medics from Woodbourne Air Base, which culminated with a low-light, low-level casualty evacuation (CASEVAC).

    “The main purpose of our engagement was to work closely with our host nation partners, share experiences and exchange TTPs,” said Tech Sgt. John Rinaldi, 353rd Special Operations Support Squadron SOFME medic. “I think both sides learned a lot during the CASEVAC exercise and overall it was a huge success.”

    The 353rd SOG had the opportunity to showcase the critical role they play in the Pacific to the U.S. Embassy New Zealand Chargé d'Affaires and staffers during a visit, April 19-20, 2017.

    “The Chargé d'Affaires stated this is the closest the U.S. and New Zealand militaries have been in 30 years and attributes these exercises to helping build that relationship both militarily and politically,” said Schmidt. “For the first time since our group has returned to New Zealand, we have been asked to participate in their ANZAC Day parade and we couldn’t be more honored. This year’s exercise has truly been the pinnacle of interoperability with the New Zealanders.”

    Exercise Teak Net is an annual joint, combined exchange training (JCET) focused on improving interoperability between the U.S. and New Zealand militaries.
    Source: http://www.353sog.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/1196193/353rd-sog-and-rnzaf-increase-partnership-capacity/

  • Casey

    These are photos of an air tanker that you don’t see every day. The C-130Q that Coulson recently acquired, was being moved from Tucson to another facility in Mesa, Arizona where it will be transformed into Coulson’s fourth C-130 air tanker, Tanker #134. Obviously it needs a little work.
    It is the second C-130Q that they have acquired. The first was Tanker 131 that entered service about four years ago. The company also has two L-382G’s, which is the civilian version of the C-130.
    Britt Coulson said they expect to have the conversion complete by the end of this summer.
    Source: http://fireaviation.com/2017/05/27/the-future-tanker-134-on-the-move/