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C-130J off to war


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I donot want to start something but I thought this might be if interest to some.

C-130J Off To War, Opens New Air Force Chapter

Regular duty to put new cargo plane to test

By Amy Schlesing, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Capt. Ben Robins raised his hands in the air and cheered from his perch on a concrete barrier near the edge of the Little Rock Air Force Base flight line Monday as he watched the C-130J slowly roll toward the runway.

Shortly before 6 p.m., as the evening sun set the sky ablaze with streaks of pink and orange, Lt. Col. Dan Tulley, 41st Airlift Squadron commander, coaxed Tail No. 3145 airborne, the first C-130J cargo plane in the active Air Force to deploy to war.

This moment was nine months in the making - the hardest of Robins\' life with possibly the exception, he noted, of the eight sleepless months after his son was born. Since the 41st opened for business in April, Robins - the squadron readiness and mobility officer - has juggled the paperwork necessary to send the base\'s newest squadron and the Air Force\'s newest cargo planes to war.

\"We are throwing the newest airframe full time into the desert,\" said Col. Jeff Hoffer, 463rd Airlift Group commander. \"And our guys are excited about it.\" The Air Force is looking at the 41st - and the 463rd - to help establish the standard for the C-130J. This deployment is the beginning of a constant rotation of 41st troops and planes to the war zone.

In the next four months, the men and women of the 41st Airlift Squadron and 463rd Airlift Group, will test the Air Force\'s newest cargo plane, flying missions throughout Iraq, Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa.

They are a mix of first-timers and veterans.

The veterans are learning to do their jobs with new technology. Jobs once done by a crew of five are now done by three. Loadmasters now help in the flight deck as much as in the cargo bay.

But it\'s not just the new plane that makes the difference for some veterans. Many are now parents and are leaving more behind.

Tulley pulled a white unicorn with a sparkly horn from his flight bag as he and the other pilots waited for their ride to the plane.

\"Emma Claire gave me Snowy to take with me,\" he said of his 4-year-old.

Capt. Christian Garber said, \"Sydni [also 4] couldn\'t part with Jerry the Giraffe, who she sleeps with. So she gave me the Grinch.\" Capt. Dan Rees looked at a stain on the left sleeve of his flight suit and said, \"I\'m taking spit-up with me. [Noah\'s] 9-months-old.\" And then just as quickly, the stuffed animals were tucked away and talk turned back to planes and this first deployment.

When talking about deploying with the J-model, Hoffer flinches at the word \"first.\" He quickly points out that the National Guard and Reserve have deployed J-models for limited amounts of time.

But the book on the C-130J\'s abilities has yet to be written. The 41st squadron is expected to fill in those pages with what they learn over the coming years.

\"A lot of stuff is not documented real well,\" he said.

Basic protocols - such as the number of mechanics each plane requires and how it is best used in combat - have yet to be established. Most of the current operational requirements are based on an older H-model, which is a very different plane. At first glance, the J-model looks like its H- and E-model siblings, but with 15 more feet of cargo room, stronger engines, digital flight controls and glass displays.

At the 41st headquarters - a bland, well-worn building sandwiched between parking lots and the flight line - a poster declares the biggest selling point of the $65 million plane: \"Out of harm\'s way faster.\" With an additional prop on each of its four Rolls Royce engines, the J-model\'s powerplant packs a bigger wallop than the E and H model\'s Pratt & Whitney engines. It can simply fly faster, farther and haul more than the models of the last three decades.

The 463rd flies and deploys all three models.

\"I hope to learn the ins and outs and see how it stands up to the heat,\" Rees said.

\"Gremlins,\" a plane\'s quirks and hiccups, quickly surface in combat.

\"I hope to learn they\'re as reliable in combat as they are at home,\" Tulley said in the hours before takeoff.

Tulley built the 41st at Little Rock Air Force Base last year when it moved from Pope Air Force Base, N.C., and became the first C-130J squadron in the active Air Force.

When the squadron began in April, it had one plane and 10 crew members.

Now it\'s grown to five planes and it\'s personnel more than tenfold.

Two of those planes are on this first deployment.

\"We\'re sending them out before they\'re fully operational. We\'re sending them in early,\" Hoffer said.

The number of people and planes deploying will increase over the next year as the squadron and the fleet grows. The 463rd will grow as well, gaining another squadron, and becoming the dominant unit on base with the majority of the planes and personnel.

Over the next year, the 41st will gain all 16 of its C-130Js, becoming the largest C-130J squadron in the Air Force, National Guard and Reserve.

In the undisclosed location where the 41st is headed, Tulley will build a new squadron - the 746th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron. It will be a combination of all three models of the C-130 from active duty bases in the U.S., the Air Force Reserve and the new African Command.

\"On the bright side,\" Tulley said, \"I\'m starting a new squadron up from scratch and I have a year\'s practice now.\"

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J-model\'s powerplant packs a bigger wallop than the E and H model\'s Pratt & Whitney engines.

Ah, the good old Pratt & Whitney T56-A-7B/15 that got us to where we are today. They had their time, but now that we have our Boeing C-130J we can do so much more!

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...built the 41st at Little Rock Air Force Base last year when it moved from Pope Air Force Base, N.C., and became the first C-130J squadron in the active Air Force.

Sounds to me like training squadrons (48th AS?) don\'t count as active duty.

That\'s the media for you - not getting the facts straight.

Anyway, take care over there, everyone!!!

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What a load of ACTIVE DUTY BULL S$$T.

And where is the Extra Prop Mounted?

The person who wrote this crock must use it to blow all his hot air away.

Baltimore Guard and Keesler Reserve Have developed the J not Little Rock.

If this propaganda is what the Political AF is cramming down newbie\'s throats. \"sorry\" .

RZ Hill

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I think the extra prop only means the difference between a four-blade and a six-blade--which, oh by the way, has introduced a new vibration frequency into the airplane structure. Bigger engines/bigger props...

Did I hear that the early J-models are already being scheduled for Center Wing replacements?

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That\'s total force for you, I guess since the Guard and Reserve don\'t count the experence that has been gained by them is just wasted. I don\'t mean to bash the Active duty but you would think by that article only the AD is good enought!

Ahhh well it will go both ways in these storys, it just depends on who is being interviewed and which incompetent boob is writing the article. AD is better in some and Guard or Reserves are better in others.

Not to worry, as long as we have RZ the Guard will be represented LOL

Yes they have to get center wing boxes, Typical Lockgreed BS


I don\'t know if I would blame Lackheed for this or should we blame the CORRUPT officers that are running the contract? We all know that contractors will screw the military for every penny they can - and that includes programed obsolescence. But now the blue suiters that buy off on BS like this should be held accountable. (Just why do we keep buying off on contacts that come in at twice the awarded amount?)


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J\'s aren\'t being scheduled for CWBs. But they\'ll definitely need them (at least the AD Js) in the late 2020s. The Js will start receiving the extended service life wing towards the end of the 09 deliveries; should be good for appx 63K EBH or so. Until they find something else that restricts before that...

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  • 3 weeks later...

Much to my surprise, I was down in a hangar last week and they WR-ALC was changing a CWB on an AFSOC acft. The surprise wasn\'t the CWB change but that they were installing a \"J\" model CWB and wings on the acft. Additionally, in the next bay was a T2 that was getting a CWB change as well, but it was getting an \"H\" CWB and wings. Not sure where the sense lies with that...one would think that as valuable as T2s are, they would be getting the \"J\" CWB and wings. But then again the EBH time may come into play faster on T2.

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T2 gets a SOF CWB - that was 0011 you saw (T2 getting CWB) - the first in the contract (1212 got Jockey 14 CWB).

J-model from this year on will get SOF CWB, so while you can call what the T2 is getting a J CWB, in reality, the J is getting SOF CWB. ;)

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I\'m just going by what the technicians in the hangar told me. 011 wasn\'t quite in work yet...CWB was still on the aircraft etc. The otehr acft had the CWB removed and they were diligently working on doing the modifications they needed to do in order to install the \"J\" CWB. According to the technicians, the \"J\" model CWB was quite different...it is beefier in several areas when compared to the \"H\" CWB.

I\'m not sure what constitutes a SOF CWB...is it a \"J\" CWB or an \"H\" CWB or possibly a combination of both specifically modified for SOF. Are only SOF acft getting the SOF CWBs or will everything get a SOF CWB?

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SOF CWB is stronger. 85K EBH instead of 38/45K. It is also about 1000lbs heavier.

As mentioned, starting this year the J-model will be getting the SOF CWB.

Guaranteed that 0011 is NOT getting an H CWB... ;)

HeyChief is a lot smarter on this than I am...he\'s one of them there \"insiders\" ;)

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