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C-130 News: 19th Air Force commander delivers final C-130J


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The largest C-130 base in the world recently marked the end of a transition that first began 13 years ago. The 314th Airlift Wing at Little Rock Air Force Base received its final, new C-130J aircraft from a Lockheed Martin facility, Feb. 27, 2017. The 19th Air Force commander delivered the C-130J; and spoke about the future of the 314th AW and its international C-130 Center of Excellence training school. The 19th Air Force executes operational-level command and control of all formal aircrew flying training missions within the Air Education and Training Command.

 

2017-02-24 Little Rock 2.jpg

The largest C-130 base in the world recently marked the end of a transition that first began 13 years ago. The 314th Airlift Wing at Little Rock Air Force Base received its final, new C-130J aircraft from a Lockheed Martin facility, Feb. 27, 2017. The 19th Air Force commander delivered the C-130J; and spoke about the future of the 314th AW and its international C-130 Center of Excellence training school. The 19th Air Force executes operational-level command and control of all formal aircrew flying training missions within the Air Education and Training Command.

 

 

 1. You mention that Airpower starts in the First Command. What does that phrase mean and how does the 314th Airlift Wing play a part in it?

 

The First Command is what we call AETC because our command is the first that many encounter when entering the Air Force, the first command to touch the lives of our newest Airmen. From the moment they work with recruiters, head to basic and then to tech school, our Airmen are interacting and part of the First Command, literally, their first command within the Air Force.

 

But beyond the literal definition, we are their gateway to the Air Force. We mold them and develop them into the Airmen they will become and we instill in them the values as well as provide them the tools and skills for success.

 

Here at the 314th AW, you train and prepare Airmen for their first duty. You instill in them the values of the Air Force, the skills to be a pilot and the heart and drive of a Combat Airlifter. When they leave this unit and head into the operational force, they are well-trained, well-prepared and ready to complete their mission and provide combat airlift anywhere we ask them to go.

 

2. With this C-130J, the 314th AW now has its full complement of C-130Js. How will this help the 314th AW train to better prepare U.S. and coalition forces?

Now that we have 30 C-130Js in AETC, with 14 of them in the 314th AW, the 314th AW will continue to play a large role in training and educating not only our Airmen but our coalition partners and allied nations to deliver airpower across the globe. The ability to provide interoperability between partner nations has been a key aspect to success in our missions across the world and the unique ability of the 314th to train these partners as well as our own Airmen together. With the full complement of aircraft along with the extensive simulator program, the 314th is able to train students more efficiently than ever before and will continue to produce qualified and committed Combat Airlifters.

 

3. Why it is so important that the Center of Excellence is co-located with operational C-130J squadrons/mission? 

By having both the training and operational arms of Combat Airlift located in one location, we are able to partner and better strengthen our capabilities to provide Combat Airlift across the world. When our Airmen training within AETC are able to look across the street or even the room and see the application of the training they are currently receiving, they are able to better understand the lessons taught and how they will apply them once they enter the operational side of things.

 

The fact that the operational arm is co-located also allows our Airmen to network and find mentors within the operational units that can help tie the lessons and real world applications together. When there are examples of Combat Airlift surrounding our Airmen, their ability to connect the two aspects of Combat Airlift increases and the lightbulb goes off above their head.

 

4. The 314th AW operates the DoD’s largest international flying training program; how does the academic partnership with other countries strengthen operational partnerships? 

When students are able to train together and learn the functionality of the aircraft from the same source, they are better able to understand how each other thinks as well as speak in the same technical language. In addition, when students return to their home countries, they have networked and know many of the individuals they may work with in the future during coalition exercises or missions. These personal ties and partnerships allow a freer flow of communication when it really counts.

 

Improving these partnerships through the international training program truly does improve interoperability during exercises, and more importantly, during missions. The 314th AW enables combat airlifters from over 45 different countries to come together as a team and complete the mission efficiently and effectively not only in training but in real life as well.

 

5. One of AETC’s strategic vectors is “Motivational Mission Accomplishment”, what does this mean to the units and for the students who might go on to another MAJCOM after tech school? 

Although our students may leave AETC, they don’t leave behind the ideals we uphold. We not only train our Airmen, but instill within them a sense of duty, a yearning for a challenge, the understanding that each day brings new learning and that if they push themselves, they are capable of so much. These values are more than just the skill to fly the aircraft; they are the driving force behind why our Airmen continue to soar both in the sky and on the ground.

 

When Airmen leave AETC and head to another command, they bring with them these values and live them out each and every day. In doing so, they contribute not only to our Air Force as they challenge themselves but as they challenge those around them to strive for more and to push to accomplish the mission. Although they are no longer in AETC, they motivate and challenge those around them to take it to the next level and in doing so, improve our Air Force and our nation.

 

6. What advice would you give to the C-130 aircrew and maintenance students going through the programs offered by the 314th?

Don't lose focus. Our Air Force is made great by the hardworking, dedicated individuals like yourself. This constantly and rapidly changing world demands we find innovative ways to meet our mission. We need you.

 

7. How will the new T-X requirements potentially change undergraduate pilot training process and ultimately the follow-on formal training units such as the 314th AW? 

There are a number of possibilities. The Air Force could stick to two aircraft training tracks, cargo and fighters, or try something entirely different. The real goal is to leverage the fourth and fifth generation technology in our newest aircraft and introduce it earlier in training.

 

No matter what aircraft is chosen for the T-X trainer, AETC has full confidence the 314th AW will adapt the training to produce world-class aviators who can meet our Nation's future challenges.

 

8. How will you take the lessons learned here as a numbered Air Force commander and bring them to your next command? 

If you never try something new, you will never improve your unit. In my next job, I will make sure to delegate authority to wing commanders. If you have a good wing commander, let them be commanders and don’t micromanage. As Gen. Goldfein said, to revitalize a squadron you must empower commanders to take risks and let them do what they think is right. If they fail, at least they tried something new. Give guidance, have them keep you informed, but let them do their job. Most squadron commanders know what’s going on in their squadron better than a wing or numbered air force commander.

Source: http://www.littlerock.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/1099945/qa-19th-air-force-commander-delivers-final-c-130j

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C-130 delivery fills out training fleet at Little Rock Air Force Base

2017-02-24 Little Rock 3.jpg

Lt. Col. Jared Paslay, who commands the 62nd Airlift Squadron, said the base now has more capacity to train roughly 1,300 students a year who come through Jacksonville before they're assigned to their posts worldwide as pilots and crew on C-130s.

A ceremonial landing heralded the completion of the air base's transition to the newest model of the C-130, the so-called Hercules line that has a 60-year-old legacy as a plane known for the amount of cargo it can carry and variety of missions it can fly.

The phase-in of the C-130J, nicknamed the Super Hercules, at Little Rock was first planned 20 years ago, Paslay said. The base has more Super Hercules planes than any other in the world.

"I think it marks the completion of a 20-year promise, really, for a simulator and a C-130 fleet that can train the world's best air-lifters," Paslay said. "We've been kind of working with reduced resources since [2003], so it will be really nice to be at full capacity."

The Super Hercules flies farther, faster and higher than its predecessors and requires less space to take off and land. The model flown to Jacksonville on Monday can hold up to 23 tons of cargo, including helicopters and six-wheeled armored vehicles, and has space to fit 128 combat troops or 92 paratroopers.

Aside from panes above its nose, the nearly 133-foot-long gray airplane with a 132½-foot wingspan is windowless. A ramp at the rear lowers to load and release the cargo -- anything from airmen, parachutists or food to ammunition, gasoline or vehicles.

New technology has made the plane's navigator and engineer obsolete, reducing the onboard staff to two pilots and one person responsible for the cargo, Paslay said.

C-130s, the oldest continuously produced military aircraft in history, can be configured for combat delivery, aerial and ground refueling, and electronic warfare, among other uses, according to Lockheed Martin, the plane's producer.

Maj. Gen. James Hecker, commander of the 19th Air Force, flew the plane from Greenville, S.C., with help from co-pilots Maj. David Pearce and Maj. Gordon White.

"I think you mentioned I was aided by the crew," said Hecker, who had only flown the C-130 three times. "They pretty much carried me."

Staff Sgt. Joshua Shields accepted the key to the airplane, which was the 368th J model Lockheed Martin produced, Hecker said.

Lockheed Martin delivered the first C-130, or Hercules, in 1956 after the Air Force recognized a need to "take all of the aspects -- passengers, cargo, you name it, airdrop -- and combine it into one airplane" when crossing the 89th parallel during the Korean War, Hecker said.

More than 2,500 C-130s have been manufactured, and they are spread across more than 70 nations, Hecker said.

No air base in the world has more Super Hercules aircraft than Little Rock, which has 42 -- 14 assigned to the 62nd Squadron, Hecker said. Counting the Arkansas Air National Guard's Little Rock wing, the number of C-130s is 61, Hecker said.

Little Rock Air Force Base, also home to C-130 simulators, trains operators of the planes not only for the Air Force but for the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Department of Defense. Partnerships with allied nations send Japanese, Iraqis, Afghans and others to the base for training.

"I think of us as stewarding the heart of tactical airlift for the Air Force," said Paslay, who has commanded the 62nd Squadron for a month but has been stationed at the base for more than a year. "We're going to pretty much have a say in the majority of C-130 personnel in the Air Force and also in our international partners' [forces]."

The 62nd Air Squadron, which only handles C-130s, is staffed by 105 airmen. Training for students in Little Rock can span a few months to half a year.

"When they leave here, they should be fully qualified -- if they do a full course -- to do assault procedures, tactical low-level, night-vision goggles, airdrop and airlift," Paslay said. "Students who graduate here could find themselves in a war zone in a couple of months."

Lockheed Martin has manufactured two versions of the C-130J, one shorter in length and with less cargo capacity. The plane delivered Monday is considered the "stretch" version. Of the 14 in Paslay's squadron, about half are the stretch model, he said.

Lockheed will continue producing the Super Hercules for the federal government until at least 2020 through a $5.3 billion contract signed in 2015, a company official said.

Larry Gallogly, sales director of Lockheed Martin's air mobility programs, said the company plans to develop more variations of the C-130J and increase the types of missions it can fly.

"We will depend on our current operators, including the Little Rock team, to help us define the [Super Hercules'] present and future -- their insights and support have been key to the ongoing relevancy and evolution of the C-130 Hercules," Gallogly said by email. "We plan to manufacture the C-130J as long as needed to meet our customers' needs."

Source: http://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2017/feb/28/c-130-delivery-fills-out-training-fleet-1/?f=news-arkansas

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So the J-models flown by 62nd are crewed by " the onboard staff to two pilots and one person responsible for the cargo". No commander that I ever served with in the 62nd, nor any other flying squadron I flew with during my 22 years would disrespect Loadmasters in this way. Must be how things are done in the "new" AF. Shameful. Must make talking on the intercom much more difficult.... "uh Pilot to person responsible for the cargo"
  
  

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