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C-130 Hercules News

C-130 Hercules News from around the web

  • Casey

    More than a year after being named the newest military C-130 unit equipped with the Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System, the 152nd Airlift Wing flew its first firefighting operation Saturday at the Fresno Air Attack Base here in support of the U.S. Forest Service.

    “It’s awesome. It’s great to have our tail out there,” said Lt. Col. Anthony Machabee, 152nd Operations Group Commander. “Our crews, maintenance, the pilots, loadmasters, engineers -- it’s kind of surreal. The 152nd is in the business of fighting fires.

    Additionally, two C130J aircraft from the 146th Airlift Wing, Port Hueneme, California, have been operating out of the same location in support of CAL FIRE.

    Crew chiefs, logistics and operations personnel and members of the Fresno Air Attack Base’s fire service team watched from a distance as the 152nd’s C-130H, equipped with MAFFS, taxied toward its first firefighting operation over the Detwiler Fire. As of Tuesday, the fire had burnt nearly 76,500 acres and threatened 1,500 structures, including 63 residences. It began July 16.

    “This is the first time the Nevada Air Guard has been tasked as the active lead unit,” said Master Sgt. Jennifer Harrell, a 152nd crew chief. “Being out here is a big deal for us.”

    Harrell was one of only nine crew chiefs and six aircrew members initially activated for this operation. A MAFFS instructor loadmaster and an instructor pilot from the 153rd Airlift Wing, Wyoming National Guard, were additionally tasked to deploy here in support of the 152nd’s MAFFS firefighting operation, given this is the first year the 152nd has activated with its own aircraft.

    A seasoned crew chief, Harrell played an important role in ensuring MAFFS 9 remained deployable.

    This operation was not only the first of the day for MAFFS 9, one of only two MAFFS configured aircraft stationed at the Nevada Air National Guard Base in Reno. It was MAFFS 9’s maiden flight as an active support aircraft working with U.S.F.S.

    “My tasking, as the crew chief, is to ensure the aircraft remains perfectly inspected and flyable and to coordinate any additional maintenance that may need to be performed,” she said. “At the end of the day we recover the aircraft, do a full inspection, a rinse to ensure the retardant hasn’t affected the aircraft and then we make sure the aircraft is ready for the next day’s mission.”

    Maintaining the aircraft’s structural and surface integrity can be a challenging task for maintainers, Harrell said.

    “The retardant is incredibly corrosive,” she said. “So, we need to make sure the aircraft is at its best flying capability because this is a very intense mission.”

    The crew flew two successful sorties, or flying operations, over the Detwiler Fire, which saw its containment jump from 20 percent to 40 percent Saturday night. They flew an additional seven sorties on Monday and remain at Fresno Air Attack Base this week in support of the U.S. Forest Service’s firefighting operation.

  • Casey

    Members of the base gathered to observe the final departure of the C-130 Hercules from Niagara, July 26, 2017.

    The 914th Fire Emergency Services rendered a water salute, shooting arches of water from firetrucks on either side of the aircraft, a symbolic gesture of farewell to a 47 year mission.

    This day marks the final stage in the process of transitioning from an Airlift Wing to an Air Refueling Wing. Many feel hopeful but sad to see the aircraft leave for the last time.

    “It’s sad to see it go,” says Tech. Sgt. Jeremy Lis, a Crew Chief of 13 years with the 914th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, “It’s the only air frame I’ve ever worked, but we’re opening a new chapter with the tanker.”

    “Now that the C-130 is actually leaving, it’s really hitting home,” Col. Brian Bowman, 914th Air Refueling Wing Commander, reflects on the day’s event, “but the future looks to be absolutely outstanding and getting better.”

    The departure of the aircraft from Niagara will enable 914th personnel to focus on the new mission, flying and maintaining the KC-135 Stratotanker.

    The departing C-130, along with the seven others that were assigned here and have previously left, will remain assigned and operating within the Air Force Reserve Command.

    Pending any changes, the aircraft that left today will be assigned to the 908th Airlift Wing, Maxwell Air Force Base, AL. Of the others, six have been assigned to the 908th AW and one has been assigned to the 910th AW, Youngstown Air Reserve Station, Vienna, OH.

    In honor of the 47-year Airlift mission here, a static display will be built in the air park on base. A 1980 model C-130 from the 103rd Airlift Wing at Bradley Air National Guard Base, CT is scheduled to arrive in late September and will be put in place in spring 2018.

  • Casey

    The Marine Corps has grounded its fleet of KC-130Ts “out of an abundance of caution” following the events of the deadly crash earlier this month, the service has confirmed to Defense News.
    The grounding affects 12 aircraft total, all operated by Marine Forces Reserve, said spokeswoman Lt. Stephanie Leguizamon.
    “Out of an abundance of caution, the Marine Corps took the prudent action not to fly our KC-130T aircraft in the wake of the mishap on July 10 until further notice,” she said.
    Marine Corps KC-130Js, as well as Navy and Air Force C-130 variants are not affected by the temporary halt in flight operations. All C-130 variants are manufactured by Lockheed Martin.
    On July 10, a KC-130T crashed in Mississippi, killing 15 Marines and one sailor. It was the deadliest crash for Marine aviation since 2005. The plane came from Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 452 in New York, which flies KC-130s that are modified to provide aerial refueling capabilities.
    Leguizamon declined to say when the Marine Corps had made the decision to ground its KC-130T fleet or whether it was due to initial findings from the investigation, which is still ongoing.
    The plane was carrying ammunition for personal weapons, prompting an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team to comb the wreckage for unexploded ordnance. Officials have not said if the ammunition might have blown up in flight, but witnesses reported hearing a loud noise before the plane crashed.
    “It sounded like a big thunderstorm,” local catfish farmer Will Nobile told the Associated Press. “Not one big explosion, but a couple of second-long explosions. ... A long, steady rumble is what it was.”

  • Casey

    The Connecticut National Guard moved closer Wednesday toward securing its permanent flying mission with C-130 cargo planes for years into the future.
    State and Guard officials held a ceremony to mark the opening of a new, federally funded, $14.3 million maintenance facility for the aircraft stationed at the Bradley Air National Guard Base in East Granby. The unveiling of the Fuel Cell and Corrosion Control Facility came three weeks after the Guard welcomed home 130 airmen and four of the eight C-130s back from the Guard’s first large-scale, overseas deployment with the aircraft in southwest Asia.
    “This project proves the federal government is committed to recapitalizing their investment in the Connecticut Air National Guard,” Major General Thaddeus Martin told the crowd on Wednesday, referring to the 30,000 square-foot-facility. He noted that two final projects associated with the C-130s are still in the pipeline: an air terminal planned for this fall and a more secure base entrance planned for fiscal year 2018.
    Once those projects are completed, he said “all our bases are covered” in case the federal government embarks on another mission to close military bases to save money. The Connecticut Air National Guard's flying mission was put in limbo in 2005 when the federal Base Realignment and Closure Commission recommended stripping the Guard’s A-10 fighter planes. The Guard later flew C-21 transport aircraft as part of a “bridge mission,” eventually hoping to get C-27 Spartan cargo planes.
    But Martin realized in 2012 there was shrinking support in the Air Force for the C-27 planes and recommended the state shift gears and pursue an older, more established program - the C-130 cargo planes - for its permanent mission. Martin has been working to secure funding ever since to meet the needs of the planes, including upgrading the aircraft so they can fly another three decades. They’re all more than 40 years old.
    C-130s, also known as C-130H Hercules, operate throughout the Air Force and serve in a wide range of operational missions. The aircraft can carry airdrop loads up to 42,000 pounds.
    Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said he’s hopeful Connecticut has done what it can to help prevent the Air National Guard base, as well as the U.S. Submarine Base in Groton, from appearing on any potential BRAC closure lists in the future by helping to make improvements.
    “The more valuable the facility, because the more modern it is, the more likely we are to keep the missions that we have,” he said.

    Martin said the C-130 maintenance facility is part of a nearly $120 million overhaul of the guard’s various facilities. The 103rd Airlift Wing has just under 1,000 full- and part-time members, in addition to another 335 full-time workers.
    “The bottom line is this: with each project start we move closer to fulfilling our responsibility to provide the Connecticut’s National Guard with the best possible training equipment and facilities necessary to assure mission accomplishment,” he said. “Accepting anything less does a huge disservice to our members their families and the citizens of our great state.”
     

  • Casey

    Air National Guardsmen and their aircraft, deployed in support of Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve, execute daily airlift missions out of one of the busiest air bases in the U.S. Air Forces Central Command area of responsibility.

    With the operations tempo high as ever, the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing recently completed a near seamless change out of its C-130H Hercules aircraft and air crews.
     
    “The outgoing units, from the North Carolina and Connecticut Air National Guard, set up a great in-processing system to get us from the airplane upon first landing to our first combat mission in only two days,” said Capt. Carl B. Benson, a pilot with the 737th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron. “The transition was smooth and easy. We were guided through the entire process from start to finish by the departing units to ensure we completed the required items before our first flight.”
    In less than two days from their arrival, guardsmen deployed from the 130th Airlift Squadron of Charleston, W. Va. and the 109th Airlift Squadron of St. Paul, Minn., were ready to fly their first combat mission.
    In addition to reading flight crew information files, local flying publications and special instructions, each air crew member received an over-the-shoulder ride on their first mission from a seasoned air crew member of the outgoing units.
     
    The deployed West Virginia and Minnesota air crews currently share the 737th EAS’s mission to execute intra-theater tactical airlift in support of CJTF-OIR, the global coalition to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
    “Mostly we provide an air-land capability to get troops and materiel down range,” said Benson. “However, if we need to get troops and materiel to an area without a suitable runway or landing zone, all our crews are proficient in the airdrop capability. Whether it's air-land or airdrop, if you can put it in the back of a C-130, we can get it down range to troops in need.”

    “Airdrop capability allows us to get much needed supplies to forward deployed troops that are located in austere locations,” said Lt. Col. Richard Switzer, the 737th EAS director of operations. “In some instances, airdrop is the only method of aerial delivery and is a lifeline for troops on the ground.”
     
    Whether they are dropping beans, bullets, or water, the 737th EAS provides the sustenance the troops on the frontlines need to win the fight.
    “The two units work well together and much of that is aided by the fact that we have deployed together on previous rotations and had plenty of crosstalk prior to deployment,” said Switzer. “The blend is very good for our crew and maintainers, as it provides us with the opportunity to learn from each other.”
     
    Working as a cohesive team, the interoperability of the two units’ operations and maintenance personnel kept the C-130’s flying and the warfighters supplied without delay as the North Carolina and Connecticut guardsmen rotated home.
    “With this turnover the transition was near seamless,” said Switzer. “There will always be some bumps in the road and obstacles to overcome, but our maintainers and aircrews are seasoned professionals and the best at what they do.”

  • Casey

    Approximately 3,000 U.S. and allied military members came here to conduct airborne training operations in Romania and Bulgaria, as part of exercise Swift Response 17, July 15.
    Swift Response is a multinational exercise designed to train airborne forces and enhance interoperability among high-readiness units in Europe.
     
    “Executing with all these resources in a joint and multinational environment, along with the complexity of operating in another country is a great training opportunity,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Adrian Kays, mission planning cell chief with 302nd Airlift Wing, out of Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado Springs, Colorado.
    The exercise features airborne forces from nine nations including Bulgaria, Canada, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, and U.S. Soldiers and Airmen. Training activities include intermediate staging base operations, two airborne operations, an air insertion of M1126 Stryker Infantry Carrier Vehicles, airfield seizure operations and an air assault operation.
     
    Participating Air Force Reserve units hail from 22nd Air Force and include the 302nd AW, the 910th Airlift Wing, Youngstown Air Reserve Station, Youngstown, Ohio, and the 911th Airlift Wing, Pittsburgh Air Reserve Station, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
    “A large part of coming out and doing this is building teamwork among our five Guard and Reserve wings, who have come together to create a larger force than any of us could put together individually,” said Kays. 
    Swift Response is linked to a larger series of training events known as exercise Saber Guardian 17, a U.S. Army Europe-led, multinational exercise that spans across Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania with more than 25,000 service members from 22 allied and partner nations.

  • Casey

    CAE USA has been awarded a subcontract from Lockheed Martin to support the development of four KC-130J fuselage trainers (FuT) for the United States Marine Corps (USMC).  CAE will leverage the design of the CC-130J FuT delivered to the Royal Canadian Air Force and provide a range of simulation systems for the USMC KC-130J FuTs, including instructor operator station (IOS), aircraft interface monitor, virtual cargo compartment and virtual simulator.  The KC-130J FuTs will be delivered to Marine Corps Air Stations (MCAS) in Cherry Point, Miramar, and Iwakuni, Japan during 2020 and 2021, as well as to Naval Air Station Fort Worth, Texas in 2022.  The KC-130J FuTs will be co-located with existing KC-130J weapon systems trainers (WSTs) so they can be networked to provide comprehensive full-crew mission training.
    In addition, CAE USA has been subcontracted by Lockheed Martin to support the development of an HC/MC-130J enhanced fuselage trainer (eFuT) for the United States Air Force Special Operations Command.  The HC/MC-130J eFuT will provide comprehensive loadmaster training and will be delivered to Kirtland AFB in 2020.
     

  • Casey

    UK Ministry of Defense has selected British Marshall Aerospace and Defense Group to carry out structural upgrade on Royal Air Force C-130J tactical transport aircraft fleet.

    Under the £110 million (USD 144 million) contract, Marshall will replace the center wing box of RAF's fleet of 25 C-130J Super Hercules aircraft.

    This replacement will extend the aircraft’s out of service date to 2035, making sure this essential aircraft can continue to transport personnel and equipment around the world, having previously supported defense and humanitarian relief efforts in Iraq, Nepal and South Sudan.

    The contract will sustain 330 jobs in Cambridge, contributing to the 5,100 UK jobs Marshall already support in the region.

    Marshall has been supporting UK C-130 fleet since introduction into service in 1966. Marshall was the first authorized C-130B-H service center in the world, and it is the only European center authorized to service the Lockheed Martin C-130J variants.
    Source: http://www.aviationanalysis.net/2017/07/uk-c-130j-fleet-to-receive-wing-box-upgrade.html

  • Casey

    For the past week, airmen of the 139th Airlift Wing's 139th Maintenance Squadron in St. Joseph have worked through the blazing heat to bring the C-130 aircraft on display at the Missouri Museum of Military History at the Ike Skelton Training Site back to its former glory.
    Nine airmen spent a day and a half washing the aircraft and another five painted.
    "It's now colored in what we call the European Color Scheme," said Sgt. Brent Proffitt, senior member of the maintenance crew that came to Jefferson City. "This would have been what it looked like had it been on duty in the European theater. Currently, all C-130s are painted gray."
    Proffitt said the biggest challenge this week was not the heat but the wind, since strong gusts can cause over spraying.
    The plane was brought to Jefferson City from Chanute, Illinois, last May, marking the second time the plane has been used for a historic display.
    This Hercules first went on display in 1984 at the Chanute Air Force Base, which closed in 1993.
    "I actually saw this plane at Chanute when I was doing tech training in the 1990s," Proffitt said.
    Because this aircraft was used by the Missouri Air Guard 139th Airlift Wing, Missouri command members were eager to bring it here.
    This particular C-130 was one of the first made in April 1957 at Lock-heed's Marietta, Georgia, plant. It saw service all over the world, lastly with the St. Joseph-based unit.
    The Hercules also was stationed at Tachikawa Air Base, Japan, in 1958 and moved to the Naha Air Base, Okinawa, in 1966.
    It then served in Minnesota from 1971 until it was damaged in a 1973 belly-landing. A transfer to West Virginia preceded its arrival in Missouri.
    "We will be back to do maintenance work from time to time," Proffitt said. "We took the rudder off, did repair work on it and put it back on. We will be back to put on the proper military markings."
    Museum officials said this C-130 is one of the few known on display and the only one known to be on display in Missouri.
    Visitors continue to come to the museum at a steady pace, with more than 1,000 last month, officials said.
    Source: http://www.newstribune.com/news/local/story/2017/jul/13/st-joseph-crew-restores-c-130-hercules-display-here/681973/
    by Jeff Haldiman

  • Casey

     
    Personnel from the Train, Advise, Assist, Command – Air (TAAC-Air) and the Afghan Air Force conducted a bilateral casualty evacuation mission and an aerial re-supply training exercise July 9-10.

    Afghan pilots and U.S. Air Force advisors from the 538th Air Expeditionary Advisory Squadron made the roundtrip C-130 flight from Hamid Karzai International Airport to Kandahar Airfield to drop off supplies and facilitate the movement of wounded Afghan National Defense and Security Force personnel back to Kabul for further treatment.

    “We fly several missions per week,” said Lt. Col. James Torok, a C-130 advisor. “At this point we’re pretty much in an assisting phase. Advising mainly comes into play when dealing with aircrew equipment and procurement. The Afghans are no longer coalition dependent on airlift missions.”

    The entire C-130 airlift mission was planned, coordinated, controlled, and executed by the Afghan Air Force.

    Afghan Air Force Maj. Khial M. Shinwari served as the aircraft commander of the recent mission. “It was my dream to be an Air Force pilot,” said Shinwari. “I come from a strong family lineage of military service, my brother and father served in the Afghan National Army, but I am the first member of my family the join the Air Force.”

    Afghan pilots train extensively and must re-certify on a regular basis. “We study English at the Defense Language Institute and are required to pass a proficiency test before permission is granted to enroll in flight school,” said Shinwari. “Additionally, we’re required to return to the United States every 18 months to re-qualify on flight simulators.” The two week course presents an opportunity to reinforce capabilities and re-creates emergency situations and procedures a pilot may potentially face during flight.

    In addition to the airlift mission, the Afghan Air Force also demonstrated a successful airdrop training evolution using C-208 aircraft over a remote airstrip south of the capital. Much like the C-130 missions, the Afghan Air Force took the lead in planning and execution of the exercise as coalition advisors remained strictly in an assist and advisory role.

    Afghan Air Force C-208 airdrop specialist Capt. Hedayutal Rahman explained the importance of this capability, “there is always a great requirement and critical need to be able to quickly and effectively re-supply ground forces. Food, ammunition, and medical supplies keep our ground forces in the fight, and getting these items to them is a top priority.”

    Tactical airlift missions doubled in the past year to include the first autonomous Afghan Air Force aerial re-supply mission executed on June 28, 2017, supplying the Afghan Border Police.

    Further plans to improve the capabilities of the Afghan Air Force are currently underway. Under the U.S. Overseas Contingency Operations Afghan Security Forces Fund, refurbishment and modification of existing aircraft will occur, as well as the procurement new airframes such as the UH-60 Blackhawk.

    “We are building a professional, capable, and sustainable Afghan Air Force,” said Brig. Gen. Phillip A. Stewart, Commanding General, Train, Advise, Assist Command-Air and commander, 438th Air Expeditionary Wing. “Both the coalition and Afghans recognize this tremendous responsibility and have exceptional initiative. Recapitalizing the Afghan Air Force and increasing its size will provide firepower and mobility; these significant offensive factors will enable the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces the ability to break the stalemate with insurgents.”
    Source: https://www.dvidshub.net/news/240722/afghan-air-force-conducts-bilateral-missions-with-coalition-forces
    Story by Lt.Cmdr. Kathryn Gray

  • Casey

    U.S. Special Operations Command selected BAE Systems to provide electronic warfare systems for its AC/MC-130J aircraft Wednesday, per a company announcement.

    Under contract with the U.S. Special Operations Command, or SOCOM, BAE Systems designed, demonstrated and will now provide their Radio Frequency Countermeasure, or RFCM, system, which is to be used by both the U.S. Air Force’s AC-130J Ghostrider and MC-130J Commando II aircraft.

    The British-owned company entered into a developmental phase of the contract in January 2016 and competed with Northrop Grumman's Land and Avionics C4ISR division. According to the companies’ announcements, Northrup Grumman received $32.8 million and BAE Systems received $22 million to develop EW systems that “detect, identify, locate, deny, degrade, disrupt, and defeat” threats.
    BAE Systems received the $67 million contract today for the integration and installation of their EW systems into the AC/MC-130J aircraft over the next year and a half.

    The contract’s total value is expected to surpass $300 million.

    BAE Systems’ RFCM system will allow SOCOM aircraft to detect and defeat airborne and surface threats, supporting various missions, including armed over-watch, helicopter refueling and close air support.

    “With our all-digital system, we’re leveraging the latest, most advanced EW technology to create a highly mission-customized solution so that SOCOM’s fleet remains capable and protected in the harshest of environments,” said Brian Walters, vice president and general manager of Electronic Combat Solutions at BAE Systems.
    Source: http://www.defensenews.com/articles/bae-systems-to-install-ew-systems-on-socom-c-120js
    By Paige Williams
    USAF Image

  • Casey

    California has activated two National Guard C-130 aircraft to assist with combating wildfires in the state. The Modular Airborne Fire Fighting Systems (MAFFS) that convert a military aircraft into an air tanker can be installed in a C-130 in a matter of hours. The units hold up to 3,000 gallons of water or retardant that is forced out of the tanks by compressed air. The two C-130’s are with the 146 Airlift Wing at Channel Islands in Southern California.
    The MAFFS program consists of eight units located at four military bases in the western United States — Channel Islands, Cheyenne, Colorado Springs, and Reno. Each base has two of systems except for the new kid on the block, Reno — one of their two MAFFS is being used by a C-130 that is in the process of being transferred from the Coast Guard to the U.S. Forest Service.
    The concept behind the MAFFS is to have surge capacity. The units can be activated when ongoing wildfires reduce the ability of the 20 large air tankers on federal exclusive use contracts to respond to new initial attack and extended attack fires.
    Governors in the four states have the authority to activate their one or two National Guard MAFFS as needed. The National Interagency Fire Center can also activate them.
    In the video below MAFFS 6 is being tested after it was installed in the C-130 at Channel Islands. Normally they drop fire retardant, rather than water.
    Source:  http://fireaviation.com/2017/07/10/maffs-c-130s-activated-in-california/

  • Casey

    In a concerted effort from July 7, and into the early hours of July 8, 2017, approximately 80 Airmen and four aircraft assigned to the 920th Rescue Wing successfully rescued two German citizens whose vessel caught fire approximately 500 nautical miles off the east coast of southern Florida.

    At the request of the Coast Guard's Seventh District in Miami, the 920th RQW was alerted by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center at Tyndall Air Force Base, to assist in the long-range search and rescue.

    “The rescue was a culmination of skill and teamwork that involved many throughout the 920th RQW, the Coast Guard, The AFRCC and the 45th Space Wing, who provided critical support to allow our aircraft to launch and recover,” said Col. Kurt Matthews, the 920th RQW commander.

    “The specific capability with our Guardian Angel Airmen, combined with our air refueling and extended-range airlift makes us uniquely able to accomplish this mission where few others in the world can. I’m very humbled and glad to be a part of this noble mission,” he continued.

    Aircraft maintainers launched an HC-130P/N “King” fixed-wing combat rescue aircraft piloted by eight Airmen at approximately 2:30 p.m. transporting six Airmen who specialize in all types of rescue disciplines.

    It was discovered during the planning stages that only one of the German victims spoke broken English, but was badly burned, therefore Master Sgt. Isabelle Kleirgraham, the 920th RQW Equal Opportunity noncommissioned officer in charge, was tasked to join the team due to her ability to speak fluent German.

    The team arrived on scene two hours later and orbited overhead while King Ops, from the 39th Rescue Squadron at Patrick AFB, communicated with the ship below, the Nord Nightingale.

    “We had the lifeboat in the water and the freighter was about 2 miles away,” said Capt. Dan Morgese, an aircraft commander. Finally, five pararescuemen plunged into the ocean.

    “Anytime you are putting someone out over the Atlantic (Ocean), it’s concerning,” said Morgese. “We train for this. It all worked out just fine. If there was a day to do it, it was today; the weather was perfect.”

    At the scene, the Nightingale motored a small boat toward the victims which allowed the pararescue Airmen to hoist the father-son duo onboard while several of the other rescue Airmen zoomed over to pick up the parabundles of medical equipment that splashed down just after them.

    Around the same time the HC-130 arrived on scene 500 miles away, two HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters departed Patrick AFB with full tanks of gas to retrieve everyone and transport the victims to Orlando Regional Medical Center. Fortunately a Pave Hawk can fly approximately 500 miles on one tank of gas, the approximate distance to the scene. To top off their gas tanks, the helicopters met up with the HC-130 on its return to Patrick AFB for aerial refueling.

    About an hour later, an additional HC-130 took off from Patrick AFB to serve as fuel reserve for the helicopter's return trip.

    “Kudos to maintenance for getting us airborne,” said Morgese. “They (the HC-130s) are 93 models; our maintainers work hard.”

    The pararescuemen treated and stabilized the patients, then transferred them to the Nightingale to be picked up by the inbound helicopter.

    At approximately 8:20 p.m., the two Pave Hawk crews hoisted and recovered all seven from the ship and journeyed back to central Florida where they landed on an Orlando High School football field at 1:30 a.m. and handed off the patients to the Orlando Fire Department to get them to their final destination, the Orlando Regional Medical Center.

    “When you actually get to do something you train for; it’s really satisfying,” said Morgese. “Excellent communication and planning among all involved, made the mission successful.”
    Source: http://www.usafe.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/1242034/rescue-airmen-save-two-german-citizens-stranded-at-sea/ 920th Rescue Wing Public Affairs / Published July 10, 2017

  • Casey
     
    4 people killed after Military plane crashes in Sunflower County
    The FAA confirms a Military Plane has crashed at the Sunflower and Leflore county line.
    The crash was reported Monday Evening on Moorehead and Itta Bena Roads.
    Several fire departments responded to the aircraft down in a field and burning.
    The plane could be seen burning and producing large clouds of black smoke from Highway 82.
    Investigators say the plane is a C-130, which departed from Cherry Point, North Carolina with eight people on board. At least four people are confirmed
    Source: http://www.wapt.com/article/plane-crashes-in-sunflower-county/10286085
    By Keegan Foxx


  • Casey

    The manufacturer of the American C-130 has begun marketing a special operations variant of the C-130J specifically for export customers. This model, called C-130J-SOF is similar to what some export customers (like India and several NATO countries) have already ordered. These C-130Js have some of the customization that is standard with the MC-130J special operations model American special operations forces have been using versions of since 2011. This includes a sturdier fuselage, landing gear and wing to handle more stress and emergency situations in general (like lots more landings on unpaved landing strips). The major visible addition is additional radar and navigation gear to turn the aircraft into one capable of operating at night and in all sorts of nasty weather. There are also provisions for additional crew (like another loadmaster to handle paratroopers and special cargo and one or more additional electronics specialists in the cockpit.) Other extras include hard points on the wings (for sensors or missiles) and additional electrical generation capability and upgraded wiring to handle more electronics as well as quickly adding the ability to serve as an aerial tanker.
    The C-130J-SOF is a lot closer to the MC-130J in terms of mods that make it quick and easy to temporarily turn a C-130J-SOF a gunship by adding pallets of electronics and operator stations and adding additional sensors externally and weapons like Hellfire (and smaller) laser guided missiles plus a 30mm autocannon firing out the rear cargo door (modified to accommodate such a weapon.) The C-130J-SOF will be modified for each export customer depending on their needs and what special equipment they will use (like weapons and electronics from non-U.S. suppliers). Converting the C-130J-SOF to a tanker uses a similar approach although export customers may simply wish their SOF aircraft to be capable of landing at a forward airfield and refuel helicopters and other aircraft on the ground.
    In 2017 U.S. SOCOM (Special Operations Command) received the last of 37 MC-130J all-weather transports that were ordered in 2009 and began arriving in 2011 This is part of a major program to upgrade and expand the SOCOM fleet of specialized aircraft. Despite cuts in the American defense budget since 2010 SOCOM gets money for its aircraft program because SOCOM personnel are still in big demand worldwide.
    Since 2009 SOCOM has been devoting the largest chunk of its procurement budget to aircraft and most of that is going for one type of aircraft; the C-130J. SOCOM wants to buy about a hundred C-130Js and use them as commando transports (MC-130J) or gunships (AC-130J). In addition several hundred million dollars is being spent on sensors and weapons that can be quickly installed in MC-130Js to turn them into temporary gunships.
    The MC-130J was part of a larger U.S. Air Force effort to replace 200 worn out C-130Es. The C-130J transport proved to be more than just another model in the original (1950s) C-130 design. This is mainly because the J model is cheaper and easier to use. Like most new commercial transports, the C-130J emphasizes saving money. The new engines generate 29 percent more thrust while using 15 percent less fuel. Increased automation reduced crew size from four to three. The rear ramp door can now be opened in flight when the aircraft is going as fast as 450 kilometers an hour, versus the current 270 kilometers an hour.
    The SOCOM MC-130s are all-weather aircraft used for everything from moving SOCOM personnel and equipment around the combat zone, to parachuting supplies, refueling helicopters in the air, dropping bombs and propaganda leaflets, or loading a pallet or two of electronic gear for special reconnaissance or psychological warfare missions. MC-130s are particularly useful because they have terrain following radar that enables them to fly at low altitude, especially at night or during bad weather. MC-130s have several additional navigation and communication systems, which allow them to fly in all weather, especially low enough to avoid radar detection.
    C-130Js have cost nearly twenty percent less per hour than previous models. The most common version of the C-130 still in service is the C-130H. It has a range of 8,368 kilometers, a top speed of 601 kilometers per hour, and can carry up to 18 tons of cargo, 92 troops, or 64 paratroopers. The latest version, the C-130J, has a top speed of 644 kilometers, 40 percent more range than the C-130H, and can carry 20 tons of cargo. The stretched C-130J-30 can carry more bulky cargo, and goes for about $100 million each. The C-130J has a top speed of 644 kilometers, 40 percent more range than the C130H. The C-130 has been in service for over half a century, and has been flying for over 50 countries.
    As special operations have become more common worldwide so has been demand for air transports to support it. There are other aircraft out there competing with the C-130 but for one reason or another (and some bad luck) there has been no formidable competition. That may eventually happen, but for now more countries are realizing that the best deal available is the one that’s been around since the 1960s.
    Source: https://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htsf/articles/20170709.aspx

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    Bangladesh has entered into a Government-to-government deal with the United Kingdom to purchase two C-130J C5 tactical transport aircraft to boost transport capabilities of its air force.
    Financed under the FY 2017-2018 defense budget, Bangladesh will become the ninth operator of the C-130J C5 in Asia, bdmilitary.com reported Thursday. However, the details are not known yet.
    Dhaka currently has four Lockheed C-130E Hercules aircraft and two Let L-410 Turbolet Transport aircraft in its transport aircraft fleet.
    The C5 variant of the C-130J has been modified and upgraded to include new Allison AE turboprop engines and Dowty Aerospace six-bladed composite propellers. The C-130J is used for tactical operations, parachute insertions and air dispatch of cargo.
    Source: http://www.defenseworld.net/news/19809/Bangladesh_To_Buy_Two_RAF_C130J_Transport_Planes#.WWJaZ7pFyHs
     

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    The C-130 mission at Dyess Air Force Base got a boost Thursday when the 317th Airlift Group under command of Stephen L. Hodge took a bow, then immediately was reborn as the 317th Airlift Wing under Col. David L. Owens.
    Hodge, who had commanded the Airlift Group from August 2015, said the change represented a “momentous day for combat airlift and the C-130.”
    In the Air Force, wings, usually commanded by a colonel, have distinct missions, with specific and significant scopes.
    Dyess now has two wings, including the 7th Bomb Wing commanded by Col. David M. Benson, who also is base commander.
    The bomb wing's mission is to provide airmen and air power for the B-1B and is the Air Force's only B-1B formal training unit. 
    The airlift group's size and scope warranted designation as an operational wing as it "continuously generates and employs C-130J combat power," according to information provided by Dyess.
    As commander of the new 317th Airlift Wing, Owens is responsible for organizing, training, and equipping 1,200 personnel who operate, maintain and sustain 28 C-130 aircraft.
    There are four active-duty C-130 wings in the Air Force, he said after the ceremony.
    “I’ve been in the Air Force 21 years, and I’ve had the honor of commanding three times,” Owens said. “I’ve commanded the squadron level, I just got done commanding at the group level in Washington. And this is the tip of the iceberg, I guess – I’m getting to, one, be a wing commander, but, two, have an ability to stand-up a wing. And we get to kind of craft it, and we get to grow it, and it’s going to be a blast.”
    The 317th Airlift Group was made up of the 39th and 40th Airlift Squadrons, the 317th Maintenance Squadron and the 317th Operations Support Squadron.
    The 317th Operations Group, now under Col. James R. Hackbarth, and the 317th Maintenance Group, under Col. William G. Maxwell Jr., were activated Thursday, elevating those squadrons.
    Dyess’ C-130s have been at the base for more than 20 years, Owens said, with a thriving and successful relationship with the base’s bomb wing.
    “They are the most tactically sound C-130 unit in the Air Force,” he said. “And so we’re just putting a wing on top of this, and we’re going to try to grow it and make it even better.”
    Owens said little if anything should change for the current pilots and maintainers.
    “We’re going to still come to work, we’re going to do our thing and we’re going to fly that beautiful airplane all around the world,” he said.
    Owens said he wanted to see the wing continue to innovate, noting Dyess had traditionally been a model for such. “Everybody looks at Dyess to see what Dyess has always done, and they’ll continue to look at what Dyess will do,” he said.
    Lt. Gen. Giovanni K. Tuck, commander of the 18th Air Force at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois, compared the ceremony to a “four-part dance.”
    A deactivation by itself tends to be bittersweet, he said.
    “(But) a wing activation from a group, it’s amazingly special,” he said.
    After the ceremony, Tuck said a wing gives its commander an opportunity for responsibility and authority such as other wings in the Air Force enjoy.
    “By having it be a group in the past, it’s just not given it that last umph, that last opportunity to say hey, we’ve got (28) airplanes on this ramp, we’ve got maintainers, operators, civilians, and they make it all happen,” he said. “The reason why it’s an important day today is because it makes sense for us to do, it right-sizes what this unit ought to be in terms of a full-blown wing, and it gets the resources and authorizations where it needs to be.”  
    The deactivation and subsequent elevation have been in the works “for quite some time,” Tuck said.
    Source: http://www.gosanangelo.com/story/news/local/2017/07/08/new-c-130-wing-takes-flight-dyess-afb/461991001/
    Brian Bethel , Abilene Reporter- News Published 1:43 p.m. CT July 8, 2017
    Image: Lockheed Martin 

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    The unmistakable Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules has been a staple of western military forces as a cargo aircraft. A modern civilian version of the “J” model was first shown last spring, which caused some avgeeks and analysis to scratch their heads wondering “why?”. It appears that Lockheed Martin thinks that there is actually a market for the new LM-100J.
    This isn’t the first time that the C-130 has seen civilian action. There was an earlier version, the L-100, that was produced until 1992, and these aircraft were used for things like crucial deliveries and disaster relief. Even Delta Air Lines operated a few for a period of time. The original L-100s are aging though and in need of replacement.  Outside of the LM-100J, there are very few options for outsize cargo airlift. Many have been retired for structural issues and high operating expenses.
    The new version, the LM-100J, can haul 35,000 pounds of cargo approximately 2,800 nautical miles, and features significant improvements over the original L-100. The very first delivery of the latest version is scheduled for early 2018.
    Lockheed Martin certainly seems to think so (or at least enough of a market to sell about 100 of the aircraft) with general manager for Air Mobility & Maritime Missions George Shultz saying, “Our existing L-100 operators have repeatedly shared with us that the only replacement for a Herc is a Super Herc, and we are proud to meet this demand with the LM-100J. There is a significant global requirement for commercial freight operations to support operations in more austere areas. The LM-100J will not only meet these demands, but exceed them by delivering new and unmatched capabilities to the commercial marketplace by transporting cargo on any runway, anywhere, all the time.”
      They anticipate the aircraft can be used for heavy cargo, firefighting, airdrops, disaster relief, search and rescue, mining support and more — even tourism, as it becomes more fashionable for those with enough cash to travel to the most remote places of the world (say, the South Pole?). It does bode well for Lockheed that they’re expanding the overall goal of the aircraft beyond cargo and humanitarian aid.  We’re just skeptical that airlines and/or private operators will ever invest in the type.  The LM-100 is unique but it is not cheap to operate, nor common to any other aircraft in the fleet.
    Lockheed does have a few letters of intent in for the aircraft so far, including seven intended for ASL, the original launch customer.
    Source:  http://www.avgeekery.com/is-there-a-market-for-a-civilian-c-130/
    by Holly Riddle

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    The C-130H Hercules has ensured the 374th Airlift Wing remains the primary Western Pacific airlift hub for peacetime and contingency operations. Continuing this legacy is its newer model the C-130J Super Hercules, which has completed its first operational mission by transporting personnel and cargo for their sister service, July 1, 2017.

    The four cargo pallets containing U.S. military training equipment, weighed approximately 12,000 pounds, and were transported from near Clark Air Base, Philippines, back to Yokota Air Base, Japan.

    With a 30 percent increase in capability compared to its previous model, the C-130J can fly higher, faster, with less fuel burn and carry more cargo. Thus, being able to accomplish Yokota’s airlift mission with a significant reduction in time and resources.

    “This was our opportunity to showcase to headquarters that the aircrew and maintainers are ready to hit the road and bring that capability to Pacific Air Forces,” said Maj. Chris Dolby, 36th Airlift Squadron C-130J pilot and aircraft commander.

    With Yokota continuously transitioning to using the Super Hercules’ and phasing out the C-130Hs by early 2018, the C-130J will continue to help the U.S. military strengthen alliances and partnerships with other countries throughout the Indo-Asia Pacific Region.

    “The C-130s at Yokota has been historically at the forefront of international engagements with our partner nations throughout south-east Asia,” said Dolby. “Having the J-model operational at Yokota for U.S. forces really helps solidify these partnerships.”
    Source: https://www.dvidshub.net/news/240201/yokotas-c-130j-completes-first-operational-mission
    Story by Airman 1st Class Juan Torres  07.06.2017
    Note: C-130J-30 15-5813 c/n 5813
     

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    The 17th Special Operations Squadron observed its annual ‘Day of the Jakal’ with a mass launch of five U.S. Air Force Special Operations MC-130J Commando IIs, June 22, 2017, at Kadena Air Base and Ie Shima Range, Okinawa, Japan.
     
    “It’s a great way to showcase the abilities of both the 353rd Special Operations Group and 17th Special Operations Squadron,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Patrick Dube, 17th SOS operations officer. “To get out and put mass on objective. It shows how we can meet the emerging mission sets for both SOCKOR and SOCPAC out here in the Pacific theater.”
     
    Five MC-130Js flew in formation from Kadena Air Base to Ie Shima Range to practice mass on objective training to include airdrops, aircraft landings, and rapid infiltration and exfiltration of equipment.
     
    “Lots of training and planning goes into ‘Day of the JAKAL’,” said Dube. “First off you have five pieces of iron that weight about 140 thousand pounds flying in formation 500 feet apart. Additionally, aircrews need to drop bundles right on the mark where they need to resupply troops. It’s a good training evolution for these guys.”
     
    In addition to the 17th SOS, the 353rd Special Operations Maintenance Squadron and 353rd Special Operation Support Squadron had a role in supporting the event.
     
    “This day is all about building cohesion and comradery within the 17th SOS and rest of the group that are a part of the team,” said U.S. Air Force Tech Sgt. Kade Bollinger, 17th SOS instructor loadmaster. “We executed multiple events that we do downrange. It was great to have a competitive training event amongst, not just the aircrew, but encompassing maintenance and enablers as well. The JAKALs are one big family and we wanted to get everybody involved.”
     
    The 17th SOS proudly exemplifies their motto, ‘no mission too demanding’ in both training and real-world contingencies.
     
    “There is no mission too great for the JAKALs,” said DuBe. “I have the utmost faith in the guys that I fly with and work with every day. They are the best trained and I’d put them up against anybody in the world.”
     
    The 17th SOS traces its heritage back to World War II when the unit was activated as the 17th Observation Squadron (Light) on March 2, 1942. The squadron flew the HC-130P/N, later re-designated MC-130P/N, to provide covert aerial refueling for special operations helicopters. Its other missions included infiltrating, exfiltrating and resupplying special operations forces.
     
    The 17th SOS currently operates six MC-130J Commando II aircraft.
     
    Source: http://www.afsoc.af.mil/News/Article-Display/article/1234540/pacific-air-commandos-launch-on-day-of-jakal/
    By Capt. Jessica Tait, 353rd Special Operations Group Public Affairs / Published June 30, 2017

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    You don’t always have everything you want on a deployment. No sixty inch plasma with video game console in your room, so you bring a laptop to play your games. Your cell phone doesn’t have coverage unless you pay exorbitant roaming fees, so you video chat with your family over Wi-Fi when you can instead. You make it work, however you can.
    That is what the men and women of the 386th Expeditionary Maintenance Squadron combat metals shop did recently when a C-130 tire blewout on landing at a forward operating base, and the body of the tire kicked up and bent the left landing gear door. They took what they had and made it work.   The damage to the door called for a complete part replacement, and shipping was going to take about two weeks, according to Capt Donovan Ricks, the 386th Expeditionary Maintenance Squadron maintenance operations officer.
    “It was just one of those situations where we couldn’t just sit around and wait,” said Ricks. “Every second that one of our aircraft isn’t fully mission-capable represents pallets stacking up, people not getting downrange, and war fighters not getting what they need to accomplish their mission.”

    Led by Master Sgt. Daniel Taylor, the 386th EMXS combat metals flight chief, the combat metals airmen got to work. They began by removing the door and hammering the dents and creases out of the sheet metal as best they could.  During disassembly they learned that the damage to the door extended beyond the metal skin to the structural ribs of the door.
    “We made a forming block out of plywood that had the same contour shape as the landing gear door as the mold. We used that mold to make sure the ribs we fabricated would match the factory specifications exactly, in addition to making sure the door would fit flush to the fuselage,” said Taylor.
    After the parts were fabricated and the metal skin that wasn’t able to be straightened was removed, the ten-person combat metals team set the ribs in place and spliced a new piece of sheet metal on to the landing gear door. After a final fit, trim, and function test, the aircraft was returned to service.
    The repair cost the Air Force 229 man-hours, $400 in material, and 264 rivets for an engineer approved air battle damage repair procedure—a repair that’s usually beyond field-level capabilities. In total, the efforts of the combat metals team saved the Air Force almost $107K in replacement cost by making it work with what they had over the course of the three-day repair, as well as returning the aircraft to service eight days early.
    “I’m very proud of this team for the way they problem solved this damage repair,” said Maj Odi Diambra, the 386 EMXS Commander. “It shows that they truly understand how important the mission is here and are willing to work hard, think outside the box and put their skills to the test to keep our planes flying and maintain our combat capabilities.”
    Source: http://www.afcent.af.mil/Units/386th-Air-Expeditionary-Wing/News/Display/Article/1234273/386th-emxs-combat-metals-team-innovates-repair-saves-air-force-thousands/
    By Master Sgt. Eric M. Sharman, 386th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs / Published June 30, 2017

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