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C-130 Hercules News

C-130 Hercules News from around the web

  • Casey

    We launched as a two-ship formation of C-130Js, taking off into the night well after the darkness had fallen. Maintaining an altitude of 500 feet above the desert terrain we continuously updated our position to remain clear of Egyptian airspace and the Jordanian buffer region. Our aircraft dusted off the sand dunes in the lower Sinai region as we slowed down, descended, and airdropped supplies to our Israeli partners on the ground. Then came our approach to the Dead Sea.
    In 2013 we were invited to fly the mighty C-130J Hercules in Israel for an allied training mission with the Israeli Air Force. I was part of the 37th Airlift Squadron, Blue Tail Flies. Our mission was to fly side-by-side with the Israelis to build our partnership capacity. Daily, we launched two C-130J formations flying low altitude tactical airdrop & airland missions during the day and at night using night vision goggles.
    Landing below sea level
    Located on the Western shores of the Dead Sea in Israel. Field elevation is -1,240 feet below sea level making it the lowest elevation airport on earth. The field name is Bar Yehuda (ICAO: LLMZ), the field plays host to charter/sightseeing flights & military operations. The strip is paved asphalt on a direction of 01/19 and it is 3,937 feet long and just over 60 feet wide. To put this in perspective most large aircraft use runways 7,000 to 10,000 feet long at airports. The C-130J can land and stop in less than 3,000 feet using full reverse and max effort braking as required.
    Getting there can be more than half the fun
    My first sortie to the Dead Sea was at night. We flew our predetermined course from the West climbing with the rising terrain to the descent point 3,000 MSL approximately 4,200 feet above field elevation. Cresting the cliffs that surrounded the Sea we descended to 0000 MSL on the altimeter, slowed and configured the aircraft for landing.
    We intercepted the final approach course of 190 and continued our descent making visual contact with the field approximately 3 miles out at an altitude of -300 on the clock and still 900 feet AGL. We continued to descent along the 3 degree glide path we computed during mission planning from -300, -700, -1000, about 20 seconds later we touched down within the zone at the first 500 feet of the runway, and the Captain brought the aircraft to a stop. We had operated the aircraft as planned but now that we were on the ground the aircraft systems presented a myriad of navigation errors.
    Where’s the Nav???
    The aircraft navigation computer was unresponsive to our inputs and would not allow us to see the pre-programmed route we loaded for our return to base. The computer acted like we had run the aircraft into the ground. We immediately got the checklist out and began troubleshooting. The aircraft was unable to locate any GPS satellites, accept any updates to its navigation solution, and there were no NAVAIDs to tune. We realized we were going to have to make it back to base in the old school way. We pulled out the chart and made a plan to takeoff and fly following the road to the West back to base. We completed running our takeoff data performance numbers, configured the aircraft and commenced a maximum effort takeoff roll.
    The aircraft climbed out and as we reached -300 MSL everything came back. The nav computer came back online and our GPS position confirmed the base was 20 miles to West. We pointed the aircraft toward the base and landed uneventfully. In the debrief we shared our actions with our leadership so crews flying in and out of Dead Sea below MSL could be prepared for what may happen to them. The 37th operated C-130s in out of the field for the following two-weeks.
    We got our own ‘Warning’ in the manual
    Most warnings in flight manuals are due to someone doing something wrong.  We contributed to one for doing something right! After the aircraft manufacturer reviewed the reports coming out of the Dead Sea airland operations they realized the navigation computer was not fit for operating below 400 feet MSL. The company immediately issued a change to the manual with a WARNING that the aircraft not be operated below an altitude of -400 MSL. I’m sure when they release the next version it will include updated navigation for flying to the Dead Sea and earth’s other extreme low elevation locations
    Source: http://www.avgeekery.com/challenge-flying-sea-level/

  • Casey

    Two C-130J Super Hercules along with about 80 Airmen attached to the 86th Airlift Wing from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, deployed to Israel in support of exercise Juniper Falcon from May 7-18, 2017.

    The 37th Airlift Squadron conducted airlift integration training with the Israeli Air Force. The integration was designed to build interoperability and maintain the enduring partnership between the U.S. and Israel, which has been developed during decades of cooperation.

    "This is a great opportunity for us work with our Israeli partners to exchange ideas and concepts and the meaningful cultural aspect that comes with those discussions," said Maj. Libby Music, the 37th AS detachment commander.

    The training sorties, which focused on bilateral air interoperability and joint service integration through low level flying, assault landing, and airdrop of cargo and personnel from the U.S. and host nation forces, gave the 37th AS pilots the chance to take part in flights unique to the region. The training also allowed them to become more familiar with the airspace and region that their Israeli partners are charged to defend.

    "The biggest takeaway for us is the unique exchange of air tactics, drop zone and landing zone operations and maintenance procedures between our two militaries," said Capt. Wesley Dembek, the 37th AS deputy of operations. "This is also a great opportunity for us to train in an austere environment that challenges us to adapt and become more familiar with the region."

    Juniper Falcon exercises that have been executed annually since 2011. The exercises were combined to increase joint training opportunities and capitalize on transportation and cost efficiencies gained by aggregating forces.

    Juniper Falcon is one of many exercises completed between U.S. European Command and the IDF.
    Source: http://www.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/1189067/us-israeli-airmen-fortify-airlift-capabilities/

  • Casey

    The New York Air National Guard's 109th Airlift Wing's annual support for National Science Foundation research in Greenland got underway in April and May, as wing members delivered 177 tons of cargo and 2,000 gallons of fuel during the season's first three-week rotation.
    The second rotation of three LC-130 ski-equipped aircraft and 80 airmen departed May 15.
    Airmen and aircraft will rotate between the town of Kangerlussuaq -- the wing's operations base while in Greenland -- and Stratton Air National Guard Base in Scotia, New York, four more times between now and the end of August.
    Fuel, Cargo, Passenger Transport
    The airmen and aircraft transport fuel, cargo and passengers to and from the various science camps throughout Greenland during the summer. The wing's Greenland missions also serve as training for the support the unit provides for the National Science Foundation's Anartic Program when it is winter in New York and summer in Antarctica.
    Along with the unit's routine supply missions, this rotation also includes 25 airmen who are taking part in Arctic survival training at Raven Camp, better known as "Kool Skool." Airmen spend three days in the field learning survival skills, including how to build a shelter and use only the items immediately available to them to survive in an Arctic climate.
    The 109th deploys to Greenland at various times between April and August. Each year, about six rotations consisting of two to four aircraft and up to 80 airmen each go for anywhere from six to 14 days at a time, depending on the National Science Foundation's needs.
    Each year, the wing flies more than 800 hours during the Greenland support season; while transporting about 2.1 million pounds of cargo, 49,000 pounds of fuel, and 1,790 passengers.
    The Greenland season will come to a close in August. However, there's not much downtime for those supporting the mission. A Greenland planning conference for 2018 is planned in October, around the same time airmen and aircraft begin shifting to support Antarctic operations as part of Operation Deep Freeze, the Defense Department's support to Antarctic science programs.
    The 109th Airlift Wing flies the LC-130, a C-130 Hercules transport modified with skis to land on snow and ice. This is the largest ski-equipped aircraft in the world, and the only ski-equipped aircraft in the U.S. military.
    Source: https://www.defense.gov/News/Article/Article/1188883/new-york-air-guard-begins-annual-greenland-mission/
    Image: USAF
     

  • Casey

    Air Force Reserve Command recently announced that the 403rd Maintenance Group was one of 18 units that earned the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award for 2015.

    The 403rd MXG is responsible for the launch, recovery and routine care of 10 C-130J and 10 WC-130J Super Hercules aircraft worth $1.3 billion. These aircraft perform tactical airlift missions as well as the only Department of Defense weather reconnaissance mission.

    “Devotion to mission accomplishment and selflessness in getting the job done is the 403rd maintainers’ focus each and every day,” said Col. Jay Johnson, 403rd MXG commander.

    Although the full-time air reserve technician force was low manned at the time, the group brought traditional reservists in on orders to complete more than 33,000 maintenance actions. This allowed more than 3,500 hours to be flown by the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron and 815th Airlift Squadron.

    “The 403rd Maintenance Group exemplifies the famous saying, flexibility is the key to air power,” said Chief Master Sgt. Vincent Armata, 403rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron superintendent. “We support three dynamic flying missions and often cross utilizing maintenance group personnel, facilities and equipment in a very efficient way to make the missions happen.”

    Being among the first in the Air Force to maintain the J model of C-130 and the only in the Air Force Reserve, the 403rd MXG has implemented several innovative maintenance standards. These include changing the aircraft floor covering, which saves more than $62,000 per year as well as designing bleed air duct shrouds which is a safety standard that was adopted fleet-wide.

    The 403rd MXG also plays a large role in spreading international awareness of the 815th AS, 53rd WRS and Air Force Reserve missions. They participated in the 2015 Caribbean and East Coast Hurricane Awareness Tours as well as the 403rd Wing’s civic leader tour and the Paris Air Show.

    During the 2015 storm season, the group launched 75 Hurricane Hunter sorties with more than 590 flight hours into 11 named storms, maintaining a 99 percent mission success rate. This allowed the 53rd WRS to collect data that was critical for the National Hurricane Center to increase the accuracy of their forecasts, saving $1 million per each square mile that didn’t need to be evacuated.

    “An all-hands approach kept our aircraft on point in researching the season’s storms and kept us able to provide rapid airlift capability,” Johnson said.
    Source: https://www.dvidshub.net/news/234749/403rd-maintenance-group-earns-outstanding-unit-award

  • Casey

    A planned mid-life upgrade for Sweden’s six-strong Lockheed Martin C-130H HERCULES transports could reduce the fleet by up to half at any given time, the air force has claimed, adding strain to the already modest fleet. 
    Speaking to media in Stockholm, Col. Magnus Liljegren, Head of the Air Force Department, said that under Sweden’s government bill defense review of 2015 that covered requirements for 2016-2020, it was mandated that the availability of the transport fleet be increased. 
    A mid-life upgrade for the C-130H transports has therefore been decided on, beginning as of 2020, although it has not been decided on which contractor will carry out the work. The fleet - one of which is a tanker - have carried out a combined 2,400 flight hours, and it is not yet known how long each upgrade will take. 
    “We are going for a mid-life update, and it may be up to 2024 before we are done,” Liljegren said. “That will effect us a lot not having that aircraft.”
    The fleet is expected to remain in service until 2030-32 with the upgrade, Liljegren said, and details on what the upgrade will include have not yet been finalized. 
    “The question is up there as to whether or not it is worth it, but we have decided to go with it,” he added. 
    He noted that there are no plans to convert any more of the aircraft into a tanker configuration, which would mean the air force would be without this capability when that one example receives its upgrade.
    Source: http://www.monch.com/mpg/news/11-air/1432-mid-life-upgrade-for-swedish-c-130h.html

  • Casey
    ·          
          As reported by Ynetnews , two Israeli Air Force (IAF) C-130 Samson airlifters that were participating in a flyover to mark the country Independence Day made contact in the air and the flight crew were unaware of the incident.
    The mishap was only discovered when ground crew discovered scuff marks on the wings of both aircraft during the post flight inspection.
    The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) claimed that no lives were put at risk because of the incident: “During the Independence Day flyover, two heavy transport planes came into close contact. There was no danger to human life, and the incident is being investigated.”
    However, in addition to the C-130 Samson cargo planes, the flyover also included Beechcraft King Air (Tzofit) planes, Gulfstream G550 (Shavit & Eitam) planes, the Boeing 707 Re’em refueling aircraft and the F-15 and F-16 (Ra’am and Barak) fighter jets. The F-35 advanced stealth aircraft also made its debut in a two-and-a-half hour flight from Eilat to Safed.
    Noteworthy formation flying is always a difficult business even for well trained and skilled aircrews as witnessed also by the two Blue Angel F-18 Hornets which made contact last week because of an unexpected wake turbulence while training with the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds near Pensacola Beach, Florida.
    Source: http://theaviationgeekclub.com/israeli-air-force-c-130-samson-airlifters-make-contact-country-independence-day-flyover/

  • Casey

    Honeywell (NYSE: HON) will provide IntuVue RDR-4000 and 4000M Weather Radar systems, the commercial and military versions of its 3-D weather radar solution, to Lockheed Martin for use on its new LM-100J Super Hercules commercial freighter, the company said.
    The LM-100J is expected to operate in severe weather conditions and the radar enables pilots to operate in difficult environments.
    Honeywell adapted the advanced technology from the IntuVue radar into the RDR-4000M to support the unique operating conditions of cargo aircraft like the C-130, C-17 and LM-100J.
    Honeywell is a software-industrial company that delivers industry specific solutions that include aerospace and automotive products and services; control technologies for buildings, homes, and industry; and performance materials globally.
    Source: http://www.financial-news.co.uk/41052/2017/05/lockheed-martin-to-use-honeywell-weather-radar-solution/

  • Casey

    After more than four years, the U.S. Air Force has shown off one of its first AC-130W Stinger II gunships to carry a 105mm howitzer. After initially making the controversial decision to leave it out of the plane’s weapons load out, based on combat experience and user feedback, the Air Force smartly reversed course and rushed to fit the massive cannon onto the aircraft.
    Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) brought the upgraded gunship to Warner Robins Air Force Base in Georgia as part of a ceremony to thank the base’s maintenance depot for all its hard work. Among other aircraft, the Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex supports the command’s AC-130 gunships and MC-130 special operations transports.
    What the work at Warner Robins “allowed us to do is to test” aircraft like the modified Stinger II, Air Force Major General Eugene Haase, AFSOC’s vice commander, told the assembled personnel. “You can see the 105 gun there in the back, which is new.”
    Haase said this particular AC-130W, Spectre 67, was one of an unspecified number of Block 20 Stinger IIs, which are the final “full up round” configuration for the type. In addition to the 105mm howitzer, these W-model gunships have a 30mm automatic cannon and the ability to launch GPS- or laser-guided AGM-176 Griffin missiles and GBU-44/B Viper Strike and GBU-39/B Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) glide bombs.
    In November 2010, Warner Robins delivered the first iteration of the new gunship, then known as the MC-130W Dragon Spear. The aircraft was a sub-variant of the specialized MC-130W Combat Spear cargo aircraft, which was itself a derivative of the standard C-130H Hercules. AFSOC pursued the program in order to quickly get more gunships into service without having to wait for all-new aircraft to arrive. The Dragon Spear conversion involved relatively modular weapon and sensor packages – referred to as the Precision Strike Package (PSP) – which maintenance teams could install with a minimum of work.
    After receiving the newly armed MC-130W, the Air Force promptly sent the plane off to Iraq to support American troops and their Iraqi partners as part of Operation New Dawn. At the time, the gunship’s only gun armament was the 30mm cannon. Its primary weapon was the 33-pound Griffin. In addition, the aircraft had two turreted day- and night-vision cameras, advanced communications gear, and data links to coordinate and share information with ground troops.
    For a period, the Air Force considered buying a stockpile of PSPs so it could simply convert MC-130H and W special operations airlifters as necessary. But while AFSOC was happy with the Dragon Spear concept, it quickly became clear the “modular” package wasn’t necessarily so and had more limited capabilities compared to the gun-armed AC-130H Spectre and AC-130U Spooky II, which both had a powerful 40mm cannon and the 105mm howitzer.
    Another issue was that the only squadron with MC-130W, the 73rd Special Operations Squadron, remained focused on special operations airlift rather than traditional gunship missions like armed reconnaissance and close air support. During the Dragon Spear’s initial deployment to Iraq, the crew found themselves still hauling cargo in addition to their new missions.
    On top of that, the Air Force had only just started buying the ammunition and some of the munitions associated with the PSP. “Manning challenges centered on the Dragon Spear’s munitions and shortage of weapons used by the aircraft to include the 30 millimeter (mm) ammunition, special operations precision guided munitions (PGM), and small diameter bombs (SDB),” AFSOC explained in its annual historical review for 2010, which the author previously obtained via the Freedom of Information Act.
    The command responded by changing tack and focusing making the Dragon Spear into a dedicated attack platform, working to expand its arsenal. In 2012, they renamed the aircraft the AC-130W Stinger II and ultimately acquired a fleet of 12 planes. The 73rd officially transitioned to a gunship squadron.
    In November 2012, an AC-130W dropped its first SDB in combat. That same month, another aircraft test fired an AGM-114P-2 Hellfire missile. Lockheed designed this variant of the iconic laser-guided weapon specifically for high-altitude launches from unmanned aircraft like the MQ-1 Predator. However, this launch envelope also made it ideal for the Stinger II. None of this addressed the limited gun armament and the new gunships began looking more like flying bomb trucks.
    Historically, the benefit of the side-firing gunship concept has been the aircraft’s ability to fire very precisely at specific points on the ground. With a gun, crews could shift their focus to new targets much faster than with missiles or bombs and lay down a much higher volume of fire, too. As it stands now, the AC-130W's wing pylons can only carry eight SDBs or Hellfires, though crews can reload the aircraft's Griffin missile launcher in flight. And cannon shells and artillery rounds are just cheaper than precision guided munitions. An 105mm high-explosive round costs approximately $400, while a Hellfire missile can cost up to $100,000, depending on the variant.
    From the Vietnam War onward, well-trained gunship crews repeatedly demonstrated their ability to destroy relatively small enemy concentrations while leaving the surrounding areas untouched, even in densely packed urban areas. After its introduction on the AC-130E Pave Aegis gunship in 1972, the airborne 105mm howitzer proved itself to be both particularly deadly and accurate.
    So, in February 2012, AFSOC had also kicked off a program to add a new, palletized version of the 105mm cannon to the AC-130W. The project, nicknamed Dragon Fire, would make sure the weapon was ready for the up-coming AC-130J Ghostrider too.
    Despite the obvious desire for this weapon, the development moved slowly and in public the Air Force initially seemed non-committal. In the face of budget cuts imposed by sequestration, the service may have just wanted to focus time and money on other priorities. As of 2013, as it continued testing the system, AFSOC insisted that only some AC-130Ws and Js would carry the howitzer and that crews would only fit the weapons as necessary.
    But in January 2015, Air Force Lieutenant General Bradley Heithold, then head of AFSOC, confirmed he was Personally pushing to add the 105mm cannon to both the AC-130W and AC-130J. In an interview with Brealing Defense, he outlined plans for the gunships and future armament options, though he didn’t say how many aircraft he ultimately wanted to have with the big guns.
    “An AC-130 is a precision strike platform in itself,” he explained. “It precisely delivers very low yield munitions with a 30 [mm gun] and a 105… and they’re very inexpensive to deliver.”
    During the discussion, Heithold only used the Block 20 nomenclature to refer to notional howitzer-armed AC-130Js. However, given Haase’s comments, it appears this nomenclature may actually apply to any gunship that carries the PSP. It remains unclear how many howitzer systems the Air Force plans to buy. In January 2017, the Block 20 AC-130J prototype “Angry Annie” fired its first rounds from the 105mm howitzer.
    At the same time, the Air Force is pursuing new precision guided munitions and other weapons to add to the gunships in the future. In October 2016, the AC-130J dropped its first Laser-guided SDB in a test run over White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. The service expects the up-coming Small Diameter Bomb II to be an option for gunships, as well.
    And Heithold said in 2015 that proposed Block 40 aircraft might even carry a directed energy weapon, such as a laser or a microwave beam. These systems offer the potential for aircraft like gunships to carry a scalable weapon that can attack very specific targets on the ground, avoiding collateral damage and only causing as much damage commanders desire. In theory, they could operate in a less-lethal mode that causes no lasting damage at all.
    In addition, they could ease AFSOC’s logistical burden, since they don’t require a steady stream of ammunition to keep firing. With the technology steadily becoming more efficient and physically smaller, the Air Force plans to start tests by 2018 and hopes a feasible energy weapon will be ready for AC-130s by 2020.
    But, for now, it looks like the 105mm howitzer will continue to be a heavy-hitting and cost-effective part of the AC-130’s arsenal.
     
    Source: http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/9940/the-usaf-finally-gives-its-ac-130w-gunship-the-big-gun-it-desperately-needs
    See more images: http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/9940/the-usaf-finally-gives-its-ac-130w-gunship-the-big-gun-it-desperately-needs

  • Casey

    On April 28, two Lockheed C-130 Hercules transport aircraft of Philippine Air Force 220th Airlift Wing have transported essential military supplies to Armed Forces of the Philippines units fighting ISIS-inspired Maute Group in Butig, Lanao del Sur.
    The two aircraft, with tail number 3633 and 4704, transported loads of ammunition from Clark Air Base to Laguindingan Airport.
    “The combat effectiveness and sustainability of our ground forces will greatly rely on the amount of ammunition’s available for them to fight. Without these airlift operations, the capacity for our ground forces to undertake military operations will be surely compromised and consequently the failure of the mission,” 220th Airlift Wing said.
    220th Airlift Wing said these re-supply mission increased the confidence of our troops, assured that they will be reinforced, supplied, and evacuated when needed. In effect, confident soldiers are more effective militarily.
    Army Support Command Convoy Commander and Escort Officer of Logistics Support Group Captain Freginald Martinez expressed his gratitude to the pilots and crew who provided them the most effective and more rapid means of air transportation.
    They were elated to know that there are now five C-130s in the Air Force, 220AW said.
    “It is no doubt that the airlift that we provide remains an important enabler for aggressive combat operations such as this. So to all our brothers in the Armed Forces, as a promise, your airlifters will always be ready to respond 24/7,” 220AW said.
    Source: http://www.update.ph/2017/04/2-c-130-transport-aircraft-re-supply-ammo-to-troops-fighting-terrorists/17079

  • Casey

    SOUTHWEST ASIA -- Air National Guardsmen assigned to the 386th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron here are undergoing a transition during their deployment here.

    These Airmen deployed from the 103rd and 145th Airlift Wings, from Connecticut and North Carolina respectively, have come together to maintain the C-130H Hercules cargo aircraft.

    The desert assignment is Connecticut’s first time being deployed with the airframe while for North Carolina, it is last time it will deploy to maintain the Hercules.

    “We are new. We did A-10’s before this,” said Tech. Sgt. Chad Wink, a 386 EAMXS engine mechanic. “It’s our first deployment with the C-130’s and their last deployment with the C-130’s.”

    “A lot of us are just learning the C-130 because it’s our first deployment with the bird,” said Wink. “It’s nice to partner up with another unit that’s had them for a long time.”

    The job of maintaining the C-130H Hercules is one piece of the puzzle in the Air Force’s fight against ISIS. This aircraft supports critical missions by deliveries cargo and personnel downrange supporting critical missions.

    “We just keep the planes flying,” said Staff Sgt. James Srackangast, 386 EAMXS crew chief. “You actually feel the pride of helping defeat ISIS, dropping the equipment off and getting to the guys who are out there on the ground.”

    Even in the excitement of supporting the fight against ISIS, Wink said that maintainers often face lots of different operational challenges that come in the way of maintaining the aircraft.

    “It’s a remote location, so it’s hard to get all the parts we need,” said Wink. “The environment, it’s a very rough environment for the engines and you really have to keep on top of them to make sure they are not ingesting to much dirt. We have to keep everything clean.”

    Wink said that he is proud to have volunteered for the deployment and looks forward to helping future deployers from Connecticut.

    “We are going to go home with all that knowledge. People who haven’t been here are going to be looking at us,” said Wink. “Hopefully we are setting standard for the next deployment.”
    Source: http://www.ang.af.mil/Media/Article-Display/Article/1166170/air-guardsmen-keep-c-130h-flying-high/

  • Casey

    U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Gregory Ferguson, the Air National Guard Assistant to the Commander, United States Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), along with an MC-130H Talon II aircraft and its crew, recently visited the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG) to recognize and pay tribute to the group’s contribution to the AFSOC mission.

    The command’s MC-130H and AC-130 Gunship platforms are currently undergoing programmed depot maintenance (PDM) at Robins Air Force Base, Ga., and a specialized team here is playing a key role in the MC-130H and AC-130 sustainment program by refurbishing outer wing sets.

    With a backdrop of C-130 wings undergoing maintenance, Ferguson began his remarks by thanking a group of sheet metal, fuels, non-destruction repair workers, planners, schedulers and engineers for their service both in and out of uniform.

    “All of what you’re doing here is pretty remarkable,” said the general after having a chance to see some of AMARG’s production lines demonstrating the “Art of Possible” methodology.

    “Much of what I’ve seen in your F-16 Regeneration, A-10 Modification, and C-130 Depot Repair lines reminded me of the way we used to chart our paths as a mechanical engineer running an engineering company when most of our days were spent looking at critical paths and major milestones for completing production of the equipment we built,” he added.

    “To see the kind of results AMARG is getting to produce a product for us as your customer to meet the nations need in a warfighting capacity is even more special and means a lot to me personally, and a tremendous amount to the command,” said Ferguson.

    While highlighting some of the Air Force’s extraordinary capabilities, Ferguson emphasized that the Air Force is the smallest and the fleet is the oldest it has ever been in history and to overcome this challenge “we must leverage every aspect of our enterprise’s capabilities to meet our mission demands, and it’s in fact necessary to gain on others’ strengths.”

    “For the past 70 years the Air Force has basically broken barriers and we’ve been a member of the finest warfighting force the world has ever known. Truly, we ensure freedom from attack. The ability to attack at the time and place of our choosing, which we’re able to do, with an ability to operate freely either in peace time or war time,” he said.

    “Today’s battlefield American Airmen have built a real-time global intelligence and command and control network that can find, fix and finish the smallest of targets, to include those that would choose to do harm to us and our nation,” he said. “So today at any given time the Air Force Special Operations Command has operators that are doing daily counter terrorism missions.”

    The general explained that air and space superiority are not the American birthright and we must continue to fight for those every day and win. At times, this does not come without challenges as was the case with the Special Operations Combat Talon II aircraft.

    “The C-130 system program office has accomplished yeoman’s work to deliver to us the customer at AFSOC C-130s ahead of schedule. Due to the surge and flying [schedule] over the last 15 years, the need to replace the outer-wings during that PDM cycle has surfaced. And certainly without you guys what they are doing in that PDM line could not be possible,” said Ferguson.

    Since the Talon IIs are limited in number, minimizing downtime for maintenance is critical. AFSOC’s requirement drove them to challenge the Art of the Possible for the Air Force Sustainment Center to not only perform wing swaps, but to simultaneously accelerate C-130s through PDM at its Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex (WR-ALC) in 100 days.

    The Special Operations Forces/Personnel Recovery and Rotary System Program Office at Robins AFB worked through the Ogden Air Logistics Complex (OO-ALC) Business Office to identify the top obstacle to reducing flow-days as the outer-wing overhaul. Fortunately, the 309th AMARG, which falls under OO-ALC, had capacity and capability for outer-wing repairs and the ability to deliver overland to meet the WR-ALC C-130 Speed-Line needs of the 560th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron.

    “You all were challenged to rapidly stand up this C-130 Speedline and put it into effect so that we were able to accelerate that PDM cycle. You’ve done it in truly championship style. It’s been phenomenal, it’s inspiring to know you have met schedule 100 percent,” he said.

    “Your refurbishment efforts have returned 103 days of aircraft availability per aircraft to the command. And in turn, it’s enabled us to provide uninterrupted combatant commander support across multiple theaters while enabling the acceleration of PDMs and aircraft upgrades to continue ahead of schedule.”

    Directly answering a question from his audience, Ferguson described the utilities of AFSOC platforms. The MC-130H Combat Talon II has a mission for delivering operators where they need to be, to keep them supplied with what they require and at times, access denied areas. They also have the capability for low-terrain penetration beyond the average “Herc” and basically, “get the goods to the folks when they need it and also get them extracted when needed.”

    He explained that these aircraft also refuel rotary wing platforms, must perform in all-weather conditions and that the MC-130H Combat Talon II, for many years, has been the platform of choice when extracting folks in harm’s way.

    “You all talked a lot today about your customer and how you are aggressively working to deliver the product to me and other warfighters as your customer. Well at AFSOC we like to say we have this product, we call it lethality. We’ve got a customer and that customer is those who would choose to do harm to our nation, the enemy,” said the general. “And because of you we don’t have any problem with delivering our product to any customer anywhere at any time across the globe,” he said.

    “As the Air Force leverages each of our capabilities, experience and skills know that what you all are doing here is so critical and what each of you represent is a real Air Force treasure.”

    After taxiing into AMARG and shutting down its engines, the MC-130H and crew opened its doors to employees for a tour of the platform.

    “We were hoping that the visiting Combat Talon II was sporting the new wings we had worked on, but as it turns out, the wings it flew in on will be our eighth set,” said David Lang, the C-130 Outer Wing Production Lead for the team performing the wing refurbishments.

    According to Lang, they have a total of 10 wing sets scheduled and are currently working sets 5 and 6.

    Appreciating the opportunity to partner with Robins AFB in support of the AFSOC’s warfighter, Lang was impressed that the work his team is performing is achieving such visibility by the customer.

    “It was great hearing from General Ferguson and listening to the visiting aircrew’s mission. Very cool recognition for all of us that work here,” said Lang.        
    Source: http://www.robins.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/1165975/309th-amarg-applauded-for-valuable-afsoc-support/
     

  • Casey

    Coulson Aviation distributed this photo today of their three C-130-type air tankers lined up at Reno for “USFS carding”. As we reported on April 10, they introduced their third tanker this month, another L-382G. They also have a C-130Q. The tanker numbers when used in the USA are 131, 132, and 133.
    At the end of this month the company will be conducting their annual pilot training.
    And, on another subject, can you find the two air tankers in the photo below that was taken by the RAAF at the Avalon Air Show in Australia around March 4?
    Source: http://fireaviation.com/2017/04/24/coulsons-three-c-130s-reporting-for-duty/

  • Casey

    BOISE, Idaho — 121 sorties. 124 flight hours. 373,900 gallons of water dropped.

    Impressive statistics for firefighting aircrew members and personnel from four different C-130 military units participating in a five-day Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System annual training sponsored by the U.S. Forest Service here. The training included Air National Guard units from California, Nevada and Wyoming and one from the U.S. Air Force Reserve in Colorado. In all, 400 people from multiple agencies worked the training and certification operation.

    “The U.S. Forest Service has always been a strong partner with the Department of Defense when it comes to firefighting,” said Col. Bryan Allen, commander of the Air Expeditionary Group, which oversees the four military units for the MAFFS mission. “This is probably one of the clearest examples of the benefits of using military aircraft in a civil support role and the U.S. Forest Service is the agency that does it the best. The U.S. Forest Service and the four airlift wings within the Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserve have really figured it out, with everything from logistics to funding, to execution, to standardization and the direct result is we save American lives and property using military crews and equipment in a civil support role. We’ve really built a strong partnership with the U.S. Forest Service over the last 44 years.”

    Water drops for training were executed on lands within the Boise National Forest and Boise District Bureau of Land Management.

    The U.S. Forest Service's large MAFFS equipment — rolled into the back of a C-130 aircraft — can drop up to 3,000 gallons of water or fire retardant in six seconds through a nozzle on the rear left side of the plane.

    The certification training includes classroom sessions and flight operations for military flight crews, lead plane pilots and other support personnel from the U.S. Forest Service and other wildland firefighting agencies in advance of the upcoming fire season this summer.

    “We have recognized the benefits to combine training periodically for operational consistency and standardization, not only with the air wings but for our personnel, as well,” said Kim Christensen, deputy assistant director for operations for the U.S. Forest Service. “The compelling reason to do a combined training again this year was the integration of the 152nd Airlift Wing, from Reno, into the MAFFS mission. We know we have a window of opportunity to get Reno proficient. The speed to that proficiency is important. When you have this kind of setting, with all four wings together, it provides a more complete setting to meet that objective.”

    The 152nd Airlift Wing was named the newest unit in the MAFFS mission last year, replacing the 145th Airlift Wing, North Carolina Air National Guard. The 145th is in the process of converting to C-17 aircraft.

    Participating Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve units include the 153rd Airlift Wing from Cheyenne, Wyoming; the 302nd Airlift Wing from Colorado Springs, Colorado; the 146th Airlift Wing from Port Hueneme, California; and the 152nd Airlift Wing from Reno, Nevada. MAFFS is a joint Department of Defense and U.S. Forest Service program designed to provide additional aerial firefighting resources when commercial and private airtankers are no longer able to meet the needs of the forest service.

    In the past decade, military C-130s equipped with MAFFS delivered about eight million gallons of fire retardant on wildfires around the U.S.

    “Obviously, we have our overseas contingencies we respond to,” said Lt. Col. Anthony Machabee, commander of the 152nd Airlift Wing Operations Group. “That is a huge part of what we do in the Air Force. We take a lot of pride in doing that. But this is a domestic operation that we also take a lot of pride in doing. For us, this is a tremendous opportunity to be a part of this mission saving property and life. I can’t speak more highly about this mission.”
    Source: https://www.dvidshub.net/news/231357/guard-reserve-units-complete-annual-firefighting-training-with-us-forest-service

  • Casey

    C-130 News: Maintaining MAFFS

    By Casey, in 2017,


    The flightline hustle and bustle -- the constant drone of C-130 engines and coordinated ramp movements after more than 40 Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System training sorties -- has come to an end. It would seem this day of training is over. But for the aircraft maintainers, in a way, their day has just begun.

    “We are the first to get here, and the last to leave,” said Tech. Sgt. Vic Bejarano, 302nd Maintenance Group and one of the dozens of maintenance personnel supporting this year’s MAFFS certification training event in Boise, Idaho.

    The U.S. Forest Service-hosted MAFFS certification/re-certification is conducted annually and emphasizes both ground and air safety. This year’s training event is a joint event for U.S. Forest Service personnel and all four military wings supporting the MAFFS mission.

    “We open the aircraft and get them ready for the flight engineer’s pre-flight,” said Bejarano, the MAFFS 5 crew chief who has supported the 302nd Airlift Wing’s MAFFS mission since 2004.

    “It takes a collaboration of everyone on the team,” added Bejarano as he observed the 302nd AW’s MAFFS 5 taxiing off the Gowen Field ramp for its fourth training sortie during MAFFS flight operations, April 21, 2017.

    Representing three different Air National Guard wings and one Air Force Reserve wing from four different locations, the MAFFS supporting wings’ maintainers agree the operations tempo and camaraderie of the MAFFS mission creates a strong bond amongst them. The DOD MAFFS mission is supported by the 152nd Airlift Wing, Nevada Air National Guard; 153rd AW, Wyoming ANG; 146th AW, California ANG; and the 302nd Airlift Wing, Air Force Reserve Command, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado.

    “MAFFS is a completely different pace,” said Senior Airman Jay Davidson, an aircraft electrician assigned to Wyoming ANG’s 153rd Airlift Wing who is in his ninth year of supporting the MAFFS mission.

    “Everyone is lending a hand, everyone pitches in and will do as much as possible to get ‘em back in the fight,” Davidson added.

    For Tech. Sgt. Joseph Marion, an avionics communications/navigation journeyman with the 153rd AW, the teamwork involved in MAFFS is a highlight of this special C-130 mission. “If someone has a problem everyone collaborates. It’s a real feeling of unity,” he said.

    “There is so much energy in MAFFS, with many working together to complete the mission,” said Bejarano.

    “Our work begins after the flying period. We begin the post-flight inspections. We go through [the aircraft] more in-depth, opening panels, checking engines, checking tire pressure and fluid levels. We are looking – making visual inspections,” said Bejarano as he awaited the return of MAFFS 5 in the early evening hours after its last training sortie of the day.

    Throughout the flying period both the crew chiefs and aircraft maintainers are in constant communication with the aircrews before and after each sortie.

    “Communication is extremely important; to make sure everything is smooth. We want [the aircrews] to concentrate on the mission and not anything else,” said Bejarano.

    Pride in the MAFFS mission seems to fuel the aircraft maintainers’ energy and enthusiasm throughout the long, quick-paced days associated with the MAFFS mission. “Of all the C-130 units, there are only a few of us in MAFFS,” said Marion. “It’s special.”

    Editor’s note: In the 1970s, Congress established the MAFFS program to aid the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service. Typically, when all other civilian air tankers are activated but further assistance is needed, the U.S. Forest Service through the National Interagency Fire Center can request the support of the U.S. Air Force’s MAFFS flying wings to support wildland fire suppression efforts. MAFFS units are portable tank systems owned by the U.S. Forest Service and are loaded onto the U.S. Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft when MAFFS is activated.
    Source: https://www.dvidshub.net/news/231258/maintaining-maffs

  • Casey

    The US military has dropped an enormous bomb in Afghanistan, according to four US military officials with direct knowledge of the mission.
    A GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb (MOAB), nicknamed the "mother of all bombs," was dropped at 7:32 pm local time Thursday, the sources said. A MOAB is a 21,600-pound, GPS-guided munition that is America's most powerful non-nuclear bomb.
    “As ISIS-K’s losses have mounted, they are using [improvised bombs], bunkers and tunnels to thicken their defense,” said Army Gen. John W. Nicholson, commander of U.S. Forces Afghanistan, in a statement. “This is the right munition to reduce these obstacles and maintain the momentum of our offensive against ISIS-K.”
    The bomb was dropped by an MC-130 aircraft, stationed in Afghanistan and operated by Air Force Special Operations Command, Pentagon spokesman Adam Stump told CNN.
    (Note: The above video is from a 2003 test of a GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb.)
    Officials said the target was an ISIS cave and tunnel complex and personnel in the Achin district of the Nangarhar province.
    President Donald Trump, before a meeting with first responders at the White House, praised the military and the bombing. Earlier, his press secretary Sean Spicer spoke about strike.
    "The United States takes the fight against ISIS very seriously and in order to defeat the group we must deny them operational space, which we did," Spicer said. The strike "targeted a system of tunnels and cave that ISIS fighters use to move around freely."
    The military is currently assessing the damage. Gen. John Nicholson, commander of US forces in Afghanistan, signed off on the use of the bomb, according to the sources. The authority to deploy the weapon was granted to Nicholson by the commander of US Central Command, Gen. Joseph Votel, Stump said.
    This is the first time a MOAB has been used in the battlefield, according to the US officials. This munition was developed during the Iraq War.
    "As ISIS-K's losses have mounted, they are using IEDs, bunkers and tunnels to thicken their defense," Nicholson said in a statement following the strike.
    "This is the right munition to reduce these obstacles and maintain the momentum of our offensive against ISIS-K," Nicholson added.
    "US forces took every precaution to avoid civilian casualties with this strike. US Forces will continue offensive operations until ISIS-K is destroyed in Afghanistan," read the statement from US Forces Afghanistan.
    The extent of the damage and whether anyone was killed is not yet clear. The military is currently conducting an assessment.
    The Pentagon is currently reviewing whether to deploy additional trainers to Afghanistan to help bolster US allies there.
    The Achin district is the primary center of ISIS activity in Afghanistan. A US Army Special Forces soldier was killed fighting the terror group there Saturday.
    Source: http://www.wcvb.com/article/us-drops-largest-non-nuclear-bomb-on-afghanistan-battlefield-military-sources-say/9272073
    image: http://spacecoastdaily.com/2017/04/breaking-u-s-air-force-c-130-drops-largest-non-nuclear-bomb-in-eastern-afghanistan/

  • Casey

    Parts of South America have been underwater for weeks as heavy and torrential downpours have washed away city streets, buildings and, in some cases, entire villages in Peru, Ecuador and Colombia.
    At the request of the Peruvian government, the US Air Force on April 4 dispatched two C-130Js from Little Rock AFB in Arkansas. For the past week, Capt. Patrick Steppe, instructor pilot with the 61st Airlift Squadron, and his crew have been up and down in the Hercules, moving hundreds of thousands of pounds of equipment and food to stranded or displaced families.
    Two aircrafts' worth of pilots, co-pilots, loadmasters, maintainers and security forces are on the ground in Lima, where daily work has been to deliver beans, rice, mobile generators, school supplies and potable water.
    The roughly 30 airmen are from the 61st and 41st Airlift Squadrons; 19th Security Forces Squadron; and the 34th Combat Training Squadron, which provides tailored joint mobility training to produce combat-ready airmen and soldiers.
    "We load up the cargo and then take it out to different airfields in the north of the country," Steppe said in a telephone interview with Military.com on Monday evening.
    Collectively, the units have loaded and moved 280,000 pounds of cargo, said Senior Airman Alexandra White, the 61st's mission loadmaster.
    The Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance -- part of the United States Agency for International Development -- is supporting the United Nations and local non-governmental partners to provide safe drinking water, chlorination tablets, cleaning supplies, and hygiene kits, among other relief supplies, AMC officials said. USAID is also providing emergency response equipment, including water, water tanks, boats, and mosquito nets to hard-hit regions in Peru.
    The U.S. -- with the help of Peruvian military authorities -- is headlining the mission, Steppe said, adding he's also seen Brazilian aircraft in the area. The crews fly to a few remote airfields per day, he said.
    The use of the C-130J, which Little Rock transitioned to from the C-130H, has also been a step up in airlift effectiveness, added Tech Sgt. Joshua Jorgensen, a flying crew chief with the19th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. The C-130J-30 Super Hercules variant -- not its J "stubby" cousin - has a longer fuselage to transport cargo, and is faster and leaner in flight, he said.
    The last C-130J-30 delivery for the 61st, which operates a fleet of 14 Super Hercules airlifters, was in June 2016, according to its manufacturer, Lockheed Martin Corp. The 19th Airlift Wing, which hosts the 61st, operates one of the Air Force's largest C-130J fleets, with 28 Super Hercules total, Lockheed said in a release.
    The aircraft are a lot more user friendly," Jorgensen said of upgrading from analog to digital interface in the plane. "It's flying faster, and we can deliver more cargo to anywhere it needs to be."
    In the next couple of days, Steppe says the units will start delivering larger supplies, such as shelters.
    "We go to the places with the best material handling equipment," said Steppe, referring to the use of forklifts to help them transfer supplies. Crews are moving roughly 25,000 to 35,000 pounds of cargo during their four-to-seven-hour work days, he said.
    On the ability to provide relief to those affected by the flood, Steppe said, "The mission itself has been fantastic -- you can feel how cool it is to be involved in something like this."
    "One of the most vital aspects of what we do is what I call "Gray Tail" diplomacy, AMC commander Gen. Carlton Everhart II told Military.com in a statement.
    "What does that mean? In short, it means that anytime an Air Mobility Command aircraft lands in a nation abroad, it highlights the values and resolve of the United States."
    The airmen will begin departing Peru around April 18, Steppe said.
    Source: http://www.military.com/daily-news/2017/04/12/air-force-flies-emergency-supplies-to-peru-after-floods.html

  • Casey

    Britt Coulson told us today that their most recently converted air tanker, Tanker 133 will be complete by the end of this week (see above photo). It will be the third in the C-130 series that the company has converted and is their second L-382G, which is a civilian version of the C-130. Their first L-382G, Tanker 132, was first grid tested in 2015 and in recent months was on contract to Australia. T-133 should be complete before the company begins pilot training at the end of this month.
    Coulson is also working on a fourth air tanker. The “new” Tanker 134 is the second C-130Q that they have acquired and should be ready to go about four years after their first C-130Q, Tanker 131, reported for duty. The aircraft needs heavy maintenance, and to get it done they will remove the tail and wings and truck it down the highway from Tucson to another facility in Mesa. Britt Coulson said they expect to have it complete by the end of this summer.
    The C-130Q’s began as strategic communications links for the U.S. Navy’s Fleet Ballistic Missile submarine force and as a backup communications link for the U. S. Air Force manned strategic bomber and intercontinental ballistic missile forces. They are similar to the C-130H, but the 12 “Q” models that were made were outfitted with complex electronics systems, including a six-mile long trailing wire antenna, for communicating with submarines and bombers. Tanker 131 still has the remains of a vent for cooling the winch that was used to reel in the long antenna.
    Privately owned C-130’s are extremely hard to find, and it is likely that very few more, if any, will be converted to air tankers in the near future.

    Coulson’s L-130Q which will become Tanker 134 later this year. Coulson photo.
    Source: http://fireaviation.com/2017/04/10/air-spray-and-coulson-to-roll-out-additional-air-tankers/

  • Casey

    GREAT FALLS, Mont.—A new state-of-the-art C-130 Hercules aircraft maintenance hangar was dedicated and placed into service at the Montana Air National Guard’s 120th Airlift Wing April 6.

    The addition of the new Building 80 and renovation of Building 25 was designed to accommodate the larger C-130 transport aircraft assigned to the wing following its conversion from a fighter mission to an airlift mission.

    “This is a really exciting time for us right now because we’ve been waiting on this hangar for about one year,” said 120th AW Maintenance Group Commander Col. Buel Dickson. “It’s going to improve our capabilities. This will help out with timing, with manpower and will save money for the Air Force.”

    Building 80 houses the corrosion control and fuel cell maintenance facility and was constructed next to the original main hangar Building 25.

    Building 25 also underwent extensive renovations during the recent construction that updated maintenance shop areas, administrative offices and training and command areas of the building. A passageway was also built between the two hangars to allow maintenance personnel to share tools and equipment from a tool room located between the two facilities.

    According to MTANG documented history, the main hangar was built in 1954 and was designed to shelter F-51 Mustang fighter aircraft.

    “The 1950s vintage hangar has supported the 120th for many, many years,” said 120th AW Base Civil Engineer Todd Mortag. “Under the fighter mission the fighters all fit within that hangar. With the C-130 mission we did about an 8,000 square foot addition to the existing hangar in order for the facility to fully encapsulate the C-130.”

    Dickson said before the new hangar construction and renovation C-130 aircraft maintenance had to be performed at other bases or outdoors on the flight line, often in inclement weather.

    “Our personnel were wearing cold-weather gear and using heaters to keep their hands warm and it slowed down the maintenance process quite a bit,” Dickson said. “This (new construction) is going to improve production and is going to improve life for the Airmen as well.”

    Mortag said the two-phase construction of Building 80 and renovation of Building 25 started in October 2014 and cost $21 million. This construction has resulted in the consolidation of 90 percent of all 120AW aircraft maintenance functions and activities into one location.

    Wing members assembled in the new hangar to watch the first C-130 towed into the building to undergo aircraft maintenance.

    “We’re very fortunate we had great support here within our wing,” Mortag said. “It will be nice to turn these buildings over to our aircraft maintenance folks so they can do their job here at home station in an enclosed area.”
    Source:https://www.dvidshub.net/news/230425/new-maintenance-hangar-open-business

  • Casey

    Nandi Zama has been flying the C-130 Military Cargo Plane for four years and has officially made history because she is now a commander which is the equivalent of a civilian captain. She has made history as the first black woman to fly the C-130 (as a commander) and she is only 31!
    Lieutenant Colonel Ntsikelelo Mantshongo believes that Nandi Zama is worthy of the major responsibility of commanding the four-engine military plane C-130.
    Nandi made her maiden journey on Friday 24 March 2017, flying the C-130 from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Waterkloof Air Force base in Gauteng, South Africa.
    She has worked very hard to get where she is and is due every credit that comes her way. Nandi joined the military in 2004 right out of high school. She had a year of military training, followed by aerodynamic ground school. In 2006 she received her wings after attending central flying school, and in 2007 she was transferred to 41 Squadron. She is now in the 28 Squadron.
    This is a massive achievement and we salute Nandi for following her dreams! We even have an interview with Nandi from 2013 for you to enjoy, you can see how passionate she is about her job.
    Source: https://www.goodthingsguy.com/people/history-c-130-military-cargo-plane/

  • Casey

    The 403rd Wing successfully completed the Green Flag Little Rock 17-05 exercise held at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, March 10-22. It was the largest Green Flag exercise to date, and the first time an Air Force Reserve unit has led such an event.

    “The exercise simulated a deployment operated out of Little Rock AFB, and we flew combat missions to simulated combat areas,” said Lt. Col. Stuart Rubio, 815th Airlift Squadron commander.

    The joint exercise involved active-duty and Air Force Reserve components, which provided aerial support to U.S. Army troops in order to gain experience with ground and air operations in a combat zone.

    The 815th Airlift Squadron delivered supplies and transported troops to the deployment locations while the 803rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron maintained planes to ensure they were ready for each mission.

    “We see this as a dress rehearsal for our deployment coming up in 2018,” said Rubio. “This puts our Airmen, those who are doing the support functions on the ground and those who are flying the missions, in as close to a combat scenario as we can get so that when we actually deploy, they will have the feeling they have been there.

    “It is a time to try out techniques, learn from each other and come out much more aware of where we stand and where we need to focus our training leading up to the deployment,” said Rubio.

    The exercise also prepared members to deal with the stress on mind and body of flying long missions and challenged their skills in in getting the rest needed for their next mission.

    For the maintainers on the ground, Chief Master Sgt. Mark Kettner, 803rd AMXS superintendent, said the exercise allowed maintainers to apply what they learned in their individual work areas and bring it together in an unfamiliar place while working together as a team.

    Rubio said this exercise has been a great success because the participants not only learned a great deal, they also showed they can bring Reserve and active-duty units together to complete a challenging mission.
     
    Source: https://www.dvidshub.net/news/227780/403rd-wing-members-participate-green-flag-deployment-exercise

  • Casey

    This flight allowed the crew to familiarize themselves with the newest C-130 model. The pilots completed approach, landing and en route procedures training; while also familiarizing themselves with the airspace. The loadmasters received hands-on training inside of the cockpit and became proficient with their new responsibilities of working as a three man crew on the J-model.

    “Being in the Super Hercules has helped us get back into the mindset of flying our new aircraft to help us continue our mission here at Yokota and throughout the Pacific Region,” said Staff Sgt. Benjamin Baughman, 36th Airlift Squadron loadmaster instructor. “The new aircraft model is great because it’s bigger and faster than the H-model. Because of this we are able to carry more cargo in less time to locations throughout Japan and other countries in the region.”

    The C-130J incorporates state-of-the-art technology to reduce manpower requirements, lower operation and support costs, thus providing life-cycle cost savings over earlier C-130 models.

    Yokota’s C-130s will also be 15 feet longer, increasing usable space and providing the ability to rapidly transport critical supplies, personnel and equipment around the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

    The Super Hercules will continue to arrive at Yokota until the base has received all 14 aircraft to replace the H-models.

    “This flight was the start to an important week because all of the J crew are able to get out and fly the aircraft,” said Capt. Chase Hessman, 36 AS pilot. “We are progressing from somewhat of a crawl, walk, run phase where we begin with proficiency training to performing tactical sorties and formation flights. Once we are successfully converted to the J-model’s, the flow of missions will become more regular and we will perform missions throughout the pacific on a more consistent basis.”
    Sourde: https://www.dvidshub.net/news/227624/c-130j-completes-first-training-sortie

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