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C-130 Hercules News

C-130 Hercules News from around the web

  • Casey

    The U.S. Air Force Reserves has been called in to fight a growing enemy attacking the Texas Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey: mosquitoes. The 910th Airlift Wing began flying two specially equipped C-130H cargo planes over the upper Texas Coast, while Coastal Bend communities are spraying neighborhoods by truck.
    Vast swarms of mosquitoes plague crews working to restore power and residents struggling to clean debris from their yards and homes. Workers in Port Aransas, Aransas Pass and Refugio have been especially infested.
    Adult mosquitos blown away by high hurricane winds leave behind eggs that thrive in the subsequent flooding. Any surviving adults lay even more eggs, causing a population explosion, reports the Centers for Disease Control.
    The first onslaught of mosquitoes following a heavy rain event like Harvey are mostly salt marsh mosquitoes, which pose no threat of diseases such as dengue or Zika virus. That will change within a few weeks, according to experts.
    Aedes Aegypti mosquitos, which carry the deadly Zika virus, will soon be part of the inevitable population increase in the following weeks as the pests thrive on stagnating water in ditches, bayous and flooded fields.
    While the Texas Department of State Health Services begin aerial spraying with the pesticide Duet all along the affected areas, trucks from municipalities will spray larvacide, which kills larvae on contact.
    Residents along the Coastal Bend are asked to look for and eliminate any standing water on their properties that they can. Landowners with large pools of standing water should also spray, city officials urged.
    Corpus Christi sprays each evening when mosquitoes are most active and bees begin to settle in for the night and are less likely to be affected. Spraying is from 7:30 p.m. to midnight by neighborhoods, which are marked on the map on this page.

  • Casey

    An aircrew from the 180th Airlift Squadron returned home Sept. 1, 2017 from providing airlift support in Texas in response to relief efforts from Hurricane Harvey.

    Part of their mission included transporting six pallets of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) supplies including blankets and Meals, Ready to Eat (MREs). They transported some 36,000 lbs of cargo, according to Maj. Nick Kahler, who was the navigator for this particular crew.

    They also transported 66 Soldiers in the Army National Guard from Laredo to College Station, Texas. The Soldiers were further deployed to affected areas.

    Kahler, along with a second aircrew, arrived in Texas on Tuesday. He said they all volunteered for the mission.

    “It’s very busy down there,” said Kahler. “But it’s awesome to be part of this. Everyone we met was appreciative.”

    As both aircrews returned home to Rosecrans, two other aircrews were activated the same day and headed to Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, Texas. Those crews will remain in Texas through the Labor Day weekend providing airlift support across the state.

    The Missouri Air National Guard’s 139th Airlift Wing is comprised of approximately 1,200 citizen-Airmen from local communities throughout the region. The unit operates the C-130H Hercules cargo aircraft and has a dual mission to the state of Missouri and the federal government. Rosecrans Air National Guard Base is located at Rosecrans Memorial Airport, St. Joseph, Mo.

  • Casey

    U.S. and Romanian military members concluded a two-week bilateral training exercise on Otopeni Air Base, Romania, Aug. 31, 2017.

    Carpathian Fall 2017 involved participation from more than 100 Airmen from Ramstein AB, Germany, along with paratroopers from the U.S. Army and Romanian military. The exercise also saw participation from Romanian Air Force pilots who served as observers.

    The goal of Carpathian Fall 2017 was to enhance mission readiness and interoperability between the U.S. and Romanian military. An example of the partnership displayed during the exercise was the airlift of Romanian paratroopers on U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules aircraft. Romanian Air Force aircraft also airdropped cargo delivery systems which were built by U.S. Air Force aerial delivery Airmen.

    "Every exercise provides its own challenges," said Capt. Jacob Morton, the 37th Airlift Squadron mission planning cell chief. "Some challenges can be anticipated, but sometimes the things you least expect can be the things which challenge you the most. The benefit of those challenges is that we find these things out now, rather than during combat."

    Morton served as the mission commander for Carpathian Fall 2017. He emphasized the importance of bilateral training, saying no country should take on a mission alone.

    “Ever since the dawn of warfare, alliances have been crucial to victory,” Morton said. “This principle still applies today. We succeed in missions not only through the courage of our own warfighters, but also through our bonds with our allies. We fly, fight, and win together.”

    Participants from Ramstein AB came from a wide range of career fields, including aircrew, weather, logistics, operations support, weather and intelligence.

    Besides conducting airdrops, pilots also practiced various in-flight maneuvers in the skies above Romania. C-130J Super Hercules pilots from the 37th AS conducted evasive flight maneuvers, tactical low-level flying, flare dispenses and assault landings. These flights were conducted with Romanian Air Force pilots observing in the cockpit.

    Maj. Corey Preston, a 37th AS C-130J instructor pilot, said he was happy with how the exercise went, and expressed his pride in the participants.

    “Carpathian Fall 2017 was an amazing success due to hard work and dedication of all Airmen involved,” Preston said. “We had amazing support from numerous agencies from the 86th Airlift Wing, and every Airman that was deployed in support of Carpathian Fall played an integral part in the success of the deployment, so first and foremost I'd like to congratulate and thank the team.”

    Preston also expressed his gratitude for the Romanian troops who hosted Airmen from Ramstein AB, adding that Romanians contributed greatly to Carpathian Fall 2017.

    “We also had outstanding support from our Romanian counterparts, and fostered key relationships that are essential to building partnership capacity and interoperability between our two air forces,” he added. “(They) were wonderful hosts, and we will truly miss the people and the country when we leave. All of us will have stories to tell our folks when we get back home. We hope to come back again soon and continue building our alliance with the people of Romania.”

  • Casey
    Two C-130 Hercules aircraft and 14 more airmen deployed from the Kentucky Air National Guard base here last night to fly humanitarian aid and airlift evacuation missions in Texas following unprecedented flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey.
      Two C-130 Hercules aircraft and 14 airmen from the 123rd Airlift Wing deploy from the Kentucky Air National Guard base in Louisville, Ky., Sept. 1, 2017, for Texas, where they will fly humanitarian aid and airlift evacuation missions in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. The airmen are expected to airlift displaced residents from Beaumont, Texas, to Dallas, where they will be provided with safe shelter. Air National Guard photo by Lt. Col. Dale Greer
    Kentucky Air Guard deploys aircraft, Airmen for evacuation missions in Texas following Hurricane Harvey Two C-130 Hercules aircraft and 14 airmen from the 123rd Airlift Wing deploy from the Kentucky Air National Guard base in Louisville, Ky., Sept. 1, 2017, for Texas, where they will fly humanitarian aid and airlift evacuation missions in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. The airmen are expected to airlift displaced residents from Beaumont, Texas, to Dallas, where they will be provided with safe shelter. Air National Guard photo by Lt. Col. Dale Greer Download Image Image details page #cboxClose { position: absolute; top: 5px; right: 5px; display: block; background: url(/desktopmodules/articlecs/images/media_popup_close.png) no-repeat top center; width: 40px; height: 40px; text-indent: -9999px; } #cboxClose:hover { background-position: bottom center; } .me-plugin { width: 100%; height: 100%; }
     
    The Kentucky Air Guardsmen will operate out of Carswell Field, located on Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, said Air Force Capt. Nick Dobson, mission planner for the Kentucky Air Guard's 165th Airlift Squadron.
    From Carswell, the airmen expect to fly missions into Beaumont Municipal Airport in Beaumont, Texas -- the site of some of the worst flooding -- to pick up dislocated residents and transport them to Dallas Love Field, Dobson said. Residents will then be moved to safe shelter by emergency responders on the ground.
    Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Jeff Brown, a loadmaster in the 165th Airlift Squadron, has supported hurricane relief operations in the past, including Katrina in 2005.
    "This is the kind of thing we train to do," Brown said. "We train for combat and we train for humanitarian missions like this. We've done it before, and we're glad to be called upon again."
    Extra Sensitivity
    Brown noted that evacuation missions require extra sensitivity on the part of airmen because they never know what to expect.
    "You don't always know if the passengers are sick or injured, you don't know what their mental state is, so that means we have to exercise a little more care with them." 
      Aerial porters from the 123rd Airlift Wing load a pallet of cargo nets onto a C-130 Hercules aircraft at the Kentucky Air National Guard base in Louisville, Ky., Sept. 1, 2017. The aircraft is one of two that will carry 14 Kentucky Air Guardsmen to Texas, where they will fly humanitarian aid and airlift evacuation missions in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Air National Guard photo by Lt. Col. Dale Greer
    Kentucky Air Guard deploys aircraft, airmen for evacuation missions in Texas following Hurricane Harvey Aerial porters from the 123rd Airlift Wing load a pallet of cargo nets onto a C-130 Hercules aircraft at the Kentucky Air National Guard base in Louisville, Ky., Sept. 1, 2017. The aircraft is one of two that will carry 14 Kentucky Air Guardsmen to Texas, where they will fly humanitarian aid and airlift evacuation missions in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Air National Guard photo by Lt. Col. Dale Greer Download Image Image details page
     
    The deployment is the third this week for members of the Kentucky Air Guard. The unit sent 18 members of its 123rd Special Tactics Squadron to the Houston area Aug. 27, where they have been conducting water patrol missions with inflatable motorboats. To date, those airmen have rescued more than 330 residents stranded by high water, and controlled air traffic for multiple helicopter landing zones. With the need for rooftop rescues now largely abated, those airmen are expected to return to Louisville early today.
    On Aug. 30, the Kentucky Air Guard's 123rd Contingency Response deployed 43 airmen, augmented by six troops from the Mississippi Air Guard, to establish an air hub in Houston for air cargo and aeromedical evacuation operations.
    "We have a lot of unique capabilities in our wing which allow us to respond effectively during events like this, including pararescuemen, combat controllers and a contingency response group -- a unit whose sole reason for existence is to rapidly establish airlift hubs in areas affected by natural disasters or other contingencies," said Air Force Col. David Mounkes, commander of the 123rd Airlift Wing, the parent unit of the 165th Airlift Squadron, the 123rd Special Tactics Flight and the 123rd Contingency Response Group.
    "Nothing is more rewarding than being able to put all those capabilities to use in our own homeland, helping people in need."

  • Casey

    MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. – At approximately 11:20 A.M., on Aug. 15, a C-130J from Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron (VMGR- 352) departed Marine Corps Air Station Miramar with 46 passengers and experienced a loss of pressurization at 21,000 feet during a scheduled training mission. 
    The air crew expertly executed appropriate procedures and safely landed at MCAS Miramar. 
     Four Marines and one Sailor from 3rd Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion based at Camp Pendleton, California, displayed symptoms of decompression sickness the following day and were treated at Naval Medical Center San Diego. The Marines and Sailor were treated and released, and did not require hospitalization.
     The cause of this incident is currently under investigation. 
     For additional information, please call the Public Affairs Office at 858-577-6000 or email us at [email protected]

  • Casey

    This is the first photo we have seen showing U.S. Forest Service Air Tanker 118 with its latest paint job. The USFS plan is to have two of the HC-130H’s at McClellan Air Field at Sacramento (the other is T-116) while the additional five are going through heavy maintenance and retardant tank installation.  One is to be actively used as an air tanker while the second is for training, or filling in while the other is down for routine maintenance. As far as I know they are sharing just one of the slip-in MAFFS II retardant delivery units that convert a C-130 into an air tanker. It only takes a few hours to install one of the systems.
    The photo below shows T-118 in 2015. Both versions show the crude looking “118” on the tail that detracts from the otherwise very acceptable new paint design. That scheme, approved in 2014, also used the crude font for the number. In addition to flying with the Coast Guard, aircraft #1721 also served with the Air Force and the Navy.

     
    The Air Force, responsible for converting the Coast Guard HC-130H’s into air tankers, has been dithering for years about installing the permanent internal gravity-powered retardant delivery systems in the seven aircraft that are being transferred to the USFS. Most of the ships also need program depot maintenance including new wing boxes. That process began in 2013 when Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act directing that the Air Force arrange to take care of all of the maintenance and conversion work needed on the planes. Unfortunately, Congress did not give the Air Force a required completion date.
    It is interesting that private companies like Aero-Flite, 10 Tanker, Neptune, and Coulson can turn an aircraft into an air tanker in less than a year, but the work on these HC-130H’s is not expected to be complete until the end of this decade, about seven years after it started. And not a single one is finished, four years after it began.
    These aircraft that the Coast Guard was happy to unload, are not getting any younger while the Air Force vacillates.  Adding another seven years while they are going through the conversions means that Tankers 116 and 118 will be 36 and 32 years old, respectively, in 2020.

  • Casey

    There is an air of excitement and pride at Bradley Air National Guard Base.
    After months of anticipation, military families and friends are celebrating the return of more than 100 Connecticut Air National Guardsmen of the 103rd Airlift Wing from an overseas deployment.
    The deployment, which mobilized the Guardsmen for service in various locations across Southwest Asia was significant as it marked the beginning of a new era for the 103rd Airlift Wing; it was the first time the unit had ever deployed the C-130 Hercules overseas as part of its new tactical airlift mission. In today's world, the C-130 is just as important as it was 60 years ago.

    "This type of mission is new to the 103rd and it has a very high ops tempo," said Lt. Col. Stephen Gwinn, 103rd Operations Group Commander. "The most important role that the C-130 plays now is supplying front-line operators with the supplies that they need when they are on the ground. Our work was definitely highlighted during this deployment. Whenever the threat reached very high levels, the C-130 was the only aircraft that could be sent to deliver necessary supplies to troops on the ground."

    According to Gwinn, the Airmen of the 103rd Airlift Wing performed their jobs with remarkable proficiency during the deployment; they made mission accomplishment look easy. However, despite how effortless the deployment may have appeared, the new mission presented tough challenges. Years of training, extended work days and working with limited resources and facilities are just a few of the obstacles that the unit had to overcome to ensure the success of the deployment.

    "Training the aircrew for the new mission without some of the resources and facilities that we have now was very challenging," said Gwinn. "100 percent of the credit goes to the Airmen who did all of the work to get us to our first C-130 deployment. Our training office and our maintainers in the unit were able to get out and practice the mission to perfection. Other units are now trying to emulate what we do. We had to work to make ourselves better than what we were. We did an amazing job of accomplishing the mission."

    Some who observed the Guardsmen as they prepared the C-130s for deployment thought that the task would be too overwhelming; the Flying Yankee aircraft maintainers proved the doubters wrong and made their fellow Guardsmen, family and friends proud. The success of the mission, after years of hard work and training, made the return home to Connecticut even more rewarding.

    "The reward is in mission completion," said Gwinn. "Every one of our Airmen who deployed and worked 16-hour days, flying into hostile environments--they all came home even more motivated and it's because of the training we did at home station. This is like our graduation. We finished school by going to the desert and completing this deployment. We're not done yet. We're going to continue getting better."
     

  • Casey
    Hercules Operators Conference

    October 16 - 19, 2017 Atlanta, Georgia Hosted by Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company

    Supporting Today’s Fleets For Tomorrow’s Missions  
    2017 Hercules Operators Conference Registration Page General Information
    The 2017 HOC will be held at the Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel & Convention Center in Atlanta, GA from October 16-19, 2017.  The Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel & Conference Center is offering a special group rate of 154 USD per night. Please click the Hotel tab above for hotel information and reservation link.
    The following information is provided to help you with the registration process:

    Again this year, we will have an early registration discount from June 15, 2017 through September 30, 2017. Payment must be received no later than midnight, Eastern Time on September 30, 2017 for the early discount to be applied.

    Please note the following regarding registrations and payments:

    Payment Types
    Credit Cards – Early Discount, Standard, or at the Door Registrations Check – Early Discount, Standard, or at the Door Registrations Cash (Only at the Door) – Not eligible for early registration discount regardless of registration date Attendee Types
    Exhibitor Booth Attendee – 1 complimentary with each Exhibitor Booth purchase Exhibitor Booth – 10' X 10' booth with table and 2 chairs, electrical power, and wireless Internet connection Lockheed Martin Aeronautics – Personnel badged to Aeronautics Lockheed Martin (non-Aeronautics) – i.e., Corporate, ESBA, IS&GS, Space, RMS Military – All uniformed Armed Forces personnel on active duty both domestic and foreign. NOTE: This does not include
    government civilian employees/civil servants. Choose Vendor/Other Attendee Owners/Operators – Entities that either own or operate the C-130 aircraft Service Center Attendee – Employees of Lockheed Martin-authorized Service Centers Sponsor Attendee – Complimentary with Sponsorship Vendor/Other Attendee – Corporations and companies that sell or distribute aircraft parts, general supplies, MSP, including government civilian employees and general admission attendees Sponsorship Levels:
    Platinum Level – 4 complimentary attendees and extra name recognition throughout the venue Gold Level – 3 complimentary attendees and extra name recognition throughout the venue Silver Level – 2 complimentary attendees and extra name recognition throughout the venue Bronze Level – 1 complimentary attendee and extra name recognition throughout the venue NOTE: When paying by credit card, please ensure the following:
    Name on credit card matches Address matches where the billing statement is sent (billing address) Type of purchase is authorized Purchase amount is not over preset limits If mailing your check/money order payment, please send to the following address:

    Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company
    ATTN: Kelly Shiple
    86 South Cobb Drive Dept. 3E5M Zone 0591
    Marietta, GA 30063

    NOTE: NO REFUNDS after September 30, 2017.
     
    2018 Calendar Photos
    C-130/L-100 photographs of stationary or in-flight aircraft may be submitted for consideration in the 2018 Calendar. The calendar is dedicated to the C-130 B-J Hercules aircraft and will feature a selection of awe-inspiring, scenic photographs of C-130 aircraft from around the world. If you would like your photograph to be considered for the upcoming calendar, please submit a recent high-resolution digital photograph (1500 x 2500 pixels or higher), a digital scan (300 dpi or higher), or an image file (minimum 2MB) of the aircraft not previously submitted or used in our calendar to [email protected] or [email protected] before August 15, 2017. Please provide the subject/title of the photo, location where photograph was taken, the photographer’s name, release of copyright, and contact information.
    Hotel information and reservation link are provided in the Hotel tab above.

    For Golf and Tour information, please select the Golf/Tour tab above.

    The Contact tab provides contact information if you have any questions concerning the registration process.

    NOTICE: Lockheed Martin Corporation (LMC) does not necessarily endorse or recommend any of the products or services presented during the Hercules Operators Conference (HOC). The views, opinions, or recommendations expressed by any of the HOC participants during formal and informal presentations, briefings, or discussions do not necessarily reflect those of LMC.

  • Casey

    With 10 of the world’s only ski-equipped LC-130 Hercules aircraft, commonly referred to as a Skibird, the New York Air National Guard’s 109th Airlift Wing is able to provide the airlift needed to get to remote locations in Antarctica and Greenland in support of the National Science Foundation.
    It’s a mission unique to the wing and one that requires specialized training. While upstate New York, where the unit is based, is known to have some brutal winter weather, it still isn’t enough to get these aircrews trained to land and take off on snow and ice.
    That’s where Raven Camp comes in. Located 108 miles southeast of Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, on the Greenland ice cap, the is where aircrews get the specialized training required to fly in and out of some of the world’s most austere locations. It’s also the location of Kool School’s field portion -- three days to learn arctic survival skills.
    Practice, Practice, Practice
    With 50 training missions already completed since the Greenland season began in April, the aircrews are well on their way to being ready to fly in Antarctica.
     “We’ll get them out to that snowfield, and we’ll work on our takeoffs and landing,” said Air Force Maj. Justin Garren, 139th Airlift Squadron’s Greenland Operations chief. “We’ll work on special procedures on the ground for the loadmasters to load and unload on the snow.”
    Air Force Maj. Dia Ham, a ski mission co-pilot student with the 139th Airlift Squadron, is no stranger to flying the traditional C-130 Hercules, but flying the Skibird is something new. She transferred to the unit after about 10 years on active duty, and flew her first Skibird training mission on the ice cap July 27.
    “There’s a level of nervousness,” she said about her first time flying to Raven Camp. “You plan for it and you hear the stories, but it was so exciting to finally see it myself with my own eyes and be in the seat.”
    Ham went on to say that while pilots learn the procedures and steps to follow for landing an aircraft in snow, nothing compares to actually doing it for the first time.
    “There’s no way to change the steps that we follow or the procedures or the sequence of events -- but you can’t prepare for landing on skis,” she said.
    Loadmaster Training
    While aircrews are training on the flight deck, loadmasters are training in the back of the aircraft.
    Because of the remote locations for some of the camps the wing supports, loadmasters must be able to perform combat offloads -- unloading cargo while the aircraft is moving with the ramp lowered just 18 inches above the snow.
    “It’s very important to learn the technique and get it right,” said Air Force Master Sgt. Randy Powell, a loadmaster instructor who has been training students this season.
    “There’s a lot you have to learn really quickly,” said Air Force Airman 1st Class Taylor Richards, a student loadmaster who is on his second trip here this season. “The stuff that we do, they can’t teach you in loadmaster school because it’s only stuff that we do [in this unit]. There are only about 60 loadmasters in the unit, and we’re the only ones in the world who do this, so there’s a little bit of a learning curve.”
    "[Raven Camp] is where we do a lot of our practice and learning,” Ham said. “Antarctica is all missions -- there’s no time to do multiple landings or try things out. The training here is so valuable.”
    The unit is currently on its fifth rotation of the Greenland season, which began in April and will end in September. About 80 airmen and three to four Skibirds are here for each rotation throughout the summer.

  • 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

    A Wyoming Air National Guard C-130 equipped with the U.S. Forest Service's Modular Airborne Fire Fighting Systems will be launched to fight wild fires in the Western United States tomorrow.
    This is Wyoming's first 2017 firefighting activation and the first time the state will be sending a C-130 with enhanced capabilities to perform a MAFFS mission.
    "I'm excited to see these modifications finally come to fruition in a domestic support role," said Col. Paul Lyman, commander of the Wyoming Air National Guard's 153rd Airlift Wing.
    Since 2007 Wyoming has worked with the National Guard Bureau to provide C-130 legacy engine and propeller systems with modern technological upgrades to significantly improve aircraft performance.
    "We are eager to fly MAFFS with the added capability and maintenance reliability the series 3.5 engine modification has," said Lt. Col. Todd Davis, 187th Airlift Squadron commander. "The aircraft has more power when needed and uses less fuel which is a definite game changer for the MAFFS mission. We fly low and heavy, dropping 150 feet above the ground in hot, smoky, dangerous conditions. The modifications allow us to safely fly on fires farther away from the base. That increased range increases our effectiveness for the MAFFS mission."

  • Casey

    Peterson Air Force Base is sending an aircraft and crew to help fight fires in the Western United States, a news release says.
    "Elevated fire activity" is expected to continue for at least the next two weeks in the California, Great Basin, Northern Rockies and Northwest geographic areas, the release says.
    Reservists from the 302nd Airlift Wing will fly a Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System-equipped C-130 on fire suppression missions from locations including Fresno, Calif., as early as Sunday.
    The request for assistance came Friday from the National Interagency Fire Center. MAFFS-equipped C-130s are flown by four military airlift wings.
    The Peterson-based crew will join a MAFFS-equipped C-130 from the Wyoming Air National Guard's 153rd Airlift Wing and another from the Nevada Air National Guard's 152nd Airlift Wing.
    "MAFFS is a self-contained aerial firefighting system, owned by the U.S. Forest Service, that can discharge 3,000 gallons of water or fire retardant in less than five seconds, covering an area one-quarter of a mile long by 100 feet wide," the release says. "Once the load is discharged, it can be refilled in less than 12 minutes."

  • 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.”
     

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    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.”

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    The Air Mobility Command’s largest exercise is set to kick off July 28, 2017 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. Team Little Rock Airmen from a variety of career fields are set to participate however, maintainers from the 19th Maintenance Group will lead the charge from the ground to ensure aircrews take flight.

    According to AMC, Mobility Guardian 2017 will be the most realistic, real-world, scenario-driven exercise ever conducted.

    Approximately 25 nations will participate in the two-week event as service members perform tasks often seen in deployed environments such as airdropping paratroopers and supplies, setting up remote airfields, accomplishing aeromedical evacuation missions and conducting aerial refueling.

    Dozens of Team Little Rock Airmen have been working together and planning for the event for several months.

    “This exercise encompasses everyone,” said Lt. Col. Bret Echard, 41st Airlift Squadron commander. “The 314th Airlift Wing is sending one of their aircraft, the Reserves (913th Airlift Group) are sending a crew and we have been training with the Guard (189th Airlift Wing) to prepare flying with other C-130H models.”

    The people, planes and cargo supplied by Team Little Rock will ensure aircraft are operational, improve interoperability with joint and allied partners and allow Airmen to train like they fight.

    However, mission success would not be possible without the assistance of maintenance Airmen working around-the-clock.

    The 19th Maintenance Group is tasked with leading the coordination and execution of maintenance operations during Mobility Guardian 2017.

    “Our unit can be tasked to deploy at any time,” said Eugene Shelton, 19th MXG unit deployment manager. “So this is an outstanding training opportunity for us as well as other supporting units across base.”

    A C-5 Galaxy, C-17 Globemaster and 10 C-130Js will be loaded by Team Little Rock Airmen with more than 100 troops and thousands of pounds of cargo, consisting of supplies and aircraft parts.

    “It’s been about four years since we’ve moved this much cargo at once,” Shelton said. “So this is a big deal.”

    It’s estimated that approximately 100 sorties will fly out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord each day during the exercise.

    Other bases participating in the exercise include Fairchild AFB, Washington; Altus AFB, Oklahoma; Dyess AFB, Texas; and Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina.

    However, when maintenance issues arise, Little Rock’s Combat Airlifters will be the ones on the front lines. Airmen from the 19th MXG will certify that every aircraft component is maintained to the most precise standards.

    Without them, pilots would be unable to fly safely and effectively in order to accomplish the mission.

    Mobility Guardian 2017 will provide Team Little Rock Airmen with an unparalleled opportunity to put all of AMC’s capabilities to the test. The event creates a unique forum to share tactics, techniques and processes essential to maintaining readiness and sustainment in coalition campaigns around the globe.

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    Lockheed Martin has received a $74.7 million contract modification to support long-term sustainment work on the US Air Force's fleet of C-130J military transport aircraft.
    The modification exercises the first option under a previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract and covers inventory control point management, sustaining engineering, repair of reparables, technical data, depot activation and program sustainment services, the Defense Department saif Friday.
    C-130J is designed to transport more than 40,000 pounds of cargo and supplies in support of aerial refueling, combat, firefighting, humanitarian, search-and-rescue missions.
    The Air Force obligated nearly $74 million in fiscal 2017 operations and maintenance funds at the time of award of the contract option.
    Lockheed will perform work under the modification in Marietta, Georgia through July 31, 2018.

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    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.

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    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.
     

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    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

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