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  2. A little more than nine months ago the Canadian government announced its “first smart pledge” as part of its renewed emphasis on helping the United Nations. It would station a C-130 Hercules aircraft to provide tactical airlift support for the UN’s Regional Support Centre in Entebbe Uganda. At the November announcement the government noted that “preparations for deployment are currently underway.” During a March 28 visit this year to the UN, Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan once again highlighted the pledge. “Last November, we committed a C-130 Hercules aircraft to provide tactical airlift support for the UN’s Regional Support Centre in Entebbe,” he said. “Preparations for deployment are currently underway. This contribution speaks to our support in helping to enable the UN’s rapid deployment capacities and effective delivery in the field.” The aircraft was to service several African missions. Defense Watch received a report that this contribution has run into various problems, in particular setting up an arrangement with the Ugandan government to have Canadian military personnel in that country. So what is happening? “This initiative is still very much in the planning stages,” Maj. Kendrah Allison of the Strategic Joint Staff Public Affairs, noted in an email. “As such, it would be premature to provide any further details.” View original article
  3. SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas – In late March 2018, an MC-130P Combat Shadow out of Moffett Federal Field, California, took its final flight to Sheppard AFB, where it would continue its legacy of supporting the Air Force as a maintenance trainer for Airmen in Training. This particular MC-130, which has been in combat in Vietnam, the Cold War and was even deployed to catch falling satellites, now serves as a part of the 82nd Training Wing’s Special Missions Aircraft Armament Apprentice Course and the C-130 Aerospace Maintenance Apprentice Course. A new type of C-130 for the Airmen to train on and interact with is something that has greatly increased the effectiveness of training here. We didn’t have an aircraft to train on at all before we got it,” said Staff Sgt. Stephen Jervis, 363­rd Training Squadron armament instructor. “[The students] love all the new hands-on and actually being able to see and feel everything they’ve been learning. [Before this], it was just showing videos and pictures from the field.” Since being available for the classes since May 2018, Jervis said there has been a number of changes since then to the curriculum. Students going through the course are also benefiting. “It gives us a unique opportunity to see a variant of the aircraft that you rarely see outside of rescue and special operations squadrons,” Jervis said. “It replaced outdated aircraft that the 362nd was using for training for their crew chief course, and added the ability for weapons load crew training. It also gives us the ability to load the BRU-61 bomb rack onto the left and right wings, simulating the AC-130W and AC-130J.” This training has been a significant boost to overall readiness and capability. Originally, this certain training was not available to AiTs, who would get advanced training on the BRU-61 at other bases before being considered fully operational. But now, pipeline students will be more ready and more experienced even before getting to the advanced training. “The flight chiefs have been very happy with the students coming in,” Jervis said. “Part of loading these bombs is getting on a 13-foot ladder, which doesn’t seem too bad. But out in Hurlburt and Cannon, a lot of Airmen have found it a little nerve racking when you add in 1,000-plus pounds worth of bombs, wind and loud noise. We’re able to identify those Airmen while they’re here, so the operational units can save valuable time and put them in a position that suites them.” Since getting the new trainer, Jervis and others hope for more types of aircraft to train on, but understand the needs of the Air Force and will make do with what they have, training the next generation to the best of their abilities with the resources they have. “Of course, I want as many of these things as possible,” Jervis said. “However, in my course, we cover all three AC-130 variants (AC-130U, AC-130W, AC-130J), so it wouldn’t be realistic to have three different airplanes here that are needed out in the fight. For the amount of things we can do with this plane now, and possible future modifications, I’m very happy with it.” View original article USAF MC-130P 66-0223 c/n 4185
  4. DOBBINS AIR RESERVE BASE, Ga. – Rays of sunshine pierce through the cargo bay windows of a C-130H3 Hercules. The monotonous rumble of the engines make the plane’s flight almost peaceful. Suddenly the aircraft goes into a hard left bank. The gravity inside the aircraft seems to triple as the g-force takes effect, pinning everyone to their seats. After a few seconds, the aircraft levels out and the sense of calm returns once again. Suddenly the g-forces return as the aircrew is notified by their defensive systems that they are being targeted. Again, the C-130 is guided through various evasive maneuvers, in an effort to shake off the tracking. This is the situation that the 700th Airlift Squadron, the 908th AS, and the 757th AS encountered on the first day of Tac Week, a weeklong tactical training exercise facilitated by the 910th Airlift Wing at Youngstown Air Reserve Station in early August. The event tested the squadrons’ ability to fly in large formations together, as well as to fly in new terrains, with various different scenarios taking place. “The purpose of this week is camaraderie,” said Lt. Col. Lance Avery, 94th Operations Group standards and evaluation pilot. “It is also to fly in a different environment. We come up here, and we see their tactical routes, and how the other units do things.” Throughout the week, the airlift squadrons participated in training designed to increase cooperation between squadrons, as well as to practice and become more comfortable using evasive aerial maneuvers, ground maneuvers, and working with aircraft defensive systems that they do not usually get to train on. “This was an opportunity to practice with some of the electronic countermeasures that we are not normally exposed to at Dobbins,” said Avery. The squadrons also participated in several different competitions throughout the week, designed to test and apply their knowledge against each other, as well as practicing concepts that would be used in theater. This included a runway backing competition, as well as airdrop and assault runway competitions. All of these competitions simulated situations catered to tactical airlift operations, such as being able to land on small, unimproved airfields, and being able to maneuver on them without much space. The drop competition tested the crew’s ability to execute a container delivery system airdrop accurately. Avery explained the real value in this kind of training is through an exchange of information. By training together with other units, in different locations, the 700th expanded their own knowledge base, and therefore expanded their mission capability and efficiency. “It has been great to come up here and fly with other units,” Avery said. “This training has given us more experience with threat detection and reactions, seeing different routes and flying in formation. We have been able to see some of the other squadrons’ techniques, and how they execute the mission.” View original article