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    Started out at Pope 86-90, then on to Yokota from 90-94, McGuire 94-97, Osan 97-98, then to Kadena (18 WG) 98-04, Edwards 04-06 then to Robins (06-present) in the AF Corrosion Prgm Office
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  1. Netherlands Selects Embraer C-390M To Replace C-130H Fleet June 17, 2022 The Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) has announced that it plans to purchase the Embraer C-390M to replace its C-130H Hercules fleet. Secretary of State for Defense Christophe van der Maat wrote to the House of Representatives that the first C-390M is aimed to be obtained by 2026. The Netherlands will become the third NATO member to buy the C-390 after Portugal and Hungary. RNLAF currently has four C-130H aircraft that have reached the end of their lifespan. While the initial plan was to use these till 2031, RNLAF decided to replace them in 2020 due to low serviceability rates and defects. RNLAF also decided to purchase five aircraft to replace the four C130Hs. This is to increase flying hours from 2,400 to 4,000, which has been necessitated by the security situation in eastern Europe as well as scenarios like the evacuation from Afghanistan in 2021. The additional capacity will help RNLAF support units better, contribute to European needs and respond to calamities quicker, wrote van der Maat. The C-390M is also intended to be used in the seven nation European Air Transport Command. The Ministry of Defense found that the C-390M met requirements better than the Lockheed Martin C-130J, which was seen as the favorite. C-390M has greater availability, requires lower maintenance and has better operational characteristics. The C-390M can also meet the 2,400 flying hour minimum requirement with just four aircraft while the C-130J needs five aircraft for this. Due to the expanded flying hour requirement, cost would be between €1 to €2.5 billion instead of the estimated €250 million to €1 billion. The selection comes as a boost to Embraer’s efforts to find customers for the C-390M. In February 2022, the Brazilian Air Force had reduced its order quantity from 28 to 22. Portugal and Hungary had purchased five and two aircraft respectively. Multiple nations like Argentina, Chile, Columbia, Czech Republic and others had expressed interest in purchasing the C-390, signing letters of intent for a total of 27 aircraft. Recently, Embraer stated to Financial Express Online that the C-390 would be offered to India.
  2. Dear Hercules and Orion Community Members, We are thrilled to announce that registration for the 2022 Hercules Orion Conference is now open. This year’s conference will be Oct. 17–20 at the Renaissance Waverly Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia. We look forward to welcoming you back for a fantastic in-person conference featuring content tracks, keynote speakers, exhibitors, and social events that focus on the Hercules and Orion operators and maintainers. Complete registration information for operators, maintainers, exhibitors, and sponsors can be found at: Hercules Orion Conference Home Page (eventscloud.com) https://na.eventscloud.com/ehome/681892?&t=376f618c8fcace69410c00faf0bd1100 Please direct any questions to [email protected] or 770-494-9131.
  3. 130th Airlift Wing Receives 8th and final C-130 J-30 Super Hercules CHARLESTON, WV, UNITED STATES 05.26.2022 Video by Edwin Wriston The 130th Airlift Wing received its 8th and final C-130 J-30 Super Hercules aircraft, #20-5940, Thursday, May 26, 2022, at McLaughlin Air National Guard Base, Charleston, West Virginia. https://www.dvidshub.net/video/845053/130th-airlift-wing-receives-8th-and-final-c-130-j-30-super-hercules?fbclid=IwAR0pZKCWP1KJhMiVmGZfYnoW6f43edxUUTnO20rdxNgXatO8iJ8vLNl9HnU
  4. Lockheed Martin Reaches Super Herculean Milestone With Delivery of 500th C-130J Airlifter This Historic Super Herc Operated by the West Virginia Air National Guard's 130th Airlift Wing MARIETTA, Ga., March 15, 2022 -- Hercules history is made once again, with the announcement that Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) recently delivered its 500th C-130J Super Hercules airlifter. This Super Hercules (Lockheed Martin aircraft #5934, USAF #19-5934) is a C-130J-30 aircraft assigned to the 130th Airlift Wing located at McLaughlin Air National Guard Base in Charleston, West Virginia. The 130th Airlift Wing is a longtime C-130 operator that is currently modernizing its legacy Hercules fleet with C-130Js. "This delivery represents the thousands of people — past and present — that design, build, fly, maintain and support C-130Js around the world," said Rod McLean, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin's Air Mobility & Maritime Missions (AMMM) line of business. "Like its namesake, the C-130J is a legend defined by its strength and power. Yet, it is the people who are part of the C-130J operator, production, supplier and industry partner communities who truly define the Super Hercules and helped the C-130J Program reach this monumental achievement." The C-130J Super Hercules is the current production model of the legendary C-130 Hercules aircraft. The airlift choice of 26 operators in 22 nations, the global C-130 fleet has surpassed more than 2 million flight hours and holds more than 54 world records. Defined by its versatility, there are 17 different mission configurations of the C-130J that includes transport (military and commercial), humanitarian aid delivery, aerial firefighting, natural disaster relief support, medevac, search and rescue, weather reconnaissance, and aerial refueling. As the most advanced C-130 ever produced, the C-130J-30 Super Hercules (which is 15 feet/4.6 m longer than legacy C-130 models) offers these enhancements and advancements compared to legacy models: 30% more passengers and cargo 50% more CDS bundles 44% more paratroopers 30% crew reduction 14% more fuel efficient 20% improvement in payload/range capability Integrated defensive suite and 250 knot ramp/door Automated maintenance fault reporting Unmatched situational awareness with digital avionics and dual HUD
  5. 133rd AW welcomes first eight-bladed propeller C-130 May 11, 2022 (by TSgt. Amy Lovgren) - The 133rd Airlift Wing received their first C-130 Hercules with an updated eight-bladed propeller on May 11, 2022. http://s9.addthis.com/button0-rss.gif http://s9.addthis.com/button1-addthis.gif USAF C-130H #96-1003 from 109 AS taxis to a parking spot on the flight line in St. Paul, Minn. on May 11, 2022. The 133rd is currently in the second phase of the modernization process, which includes transitioning the C-130s from four-bladed propellers to eight-bladed propellers. [ANG photo by Amy M. Lovgren] The 133rd Airlift Wing currently flies eight C-130H3 Hercules model aircraft out of the Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport. Last year the Wing launched a three-phase modernization process by introducing the electronic propeller control system (EPCS). The Wing is currently in the second phase of the modernization process, which includes transitioning the C-130s from four-bladed propellers to eight-bladed propellers. The eight-bladed propellers will deliver more power and efficiency while reducing maintenance. Due to increased thrust for takeoff and climb-out, they are also helpful in cold weather and arctic operations. The completion of this phase is projected to end in September 2023. The third phase will introduce a T56 3.5 turbo engine and will kick off in the fall of 2023. "Modernization is one of the Minnesota National Guard's organizational priorities. This aircraft upgrade reinforces our ability to protect our state and nation," said U.S. Air Force Col. James Cleet, 133rd Airlift Wing Commander. "Modernization ensures we have the right forces, infrastructure, training spaces, and systems for our current and future missions," said Cleet. "As our challenges and adversaries change, we require forces, equipment, and training to ensure our national security." The C-130 is a legendary cargo aircraft known for its tactical abilities; it can operate from rough, dirt strips and is the prime transport for airdropping troops, equipment, and aid into hostile areas and providing medical evacuations. In Minnesota, the C-130 Hercules is often used to assist with natural disasters and state emergencies. Over the last 51 years, the Wing has flown three different models of the C-130 aircraft. The current model, the C-130H3 Hercules, has been with the 133rd Airlift Wing since 1996. Since the Wing started flying the C-130 in 1971, crews have logged more than 213,000 flying hours. To put that into perspective, that would be 27 years of flying non-stop. The 133rd Airlift Wing is one of the two flying wings in the Minnesota Air National Guard. They have a proud heritage as the first federally-recognized aviation squadron in the United States. In January 2021, the 133rd Airlift Wing celebrated their 100th anniversary.
  6. MANSFIELD, OH, UNITED STATES 04.27.2022 Story by Master Sgt. Joseph Harwood MANSFIELD, Ohio- The 164th Airlift Squadron conducted a ceremonial final formation flight of two C-130H Hercules as part of their “Flying Legacy” tribute ceremony, April 23, 2022, held at the 179th Airlift Wing, Mansfield Lahm Air National Guard Base, in Ohio. The unit invited current members, their family and friends as well as prior service members to join them in a private ceremony in order to pay tribute to the historical flying unit’s aviation history as it enters a new era with a new non-aviation based mission. Col. Darren Hamilton, 179th Airlift Wing commander, opened the ceremony thanking those in attendance and briefing an outline of the plan for embarking on the ceremonial final formation flight followed by remarks regarding the historical significance of the day for the crowd in front of a C-130H Hercules static display. “It’s tradition to have a ‘Fini Flight’ for aviators flying their last time. In this case, it’s a symbolic final flight for our C-130 community, a mission that has been our identity in Mansfield since 1976. We will continue to fly this mission into early June when the last of the iron leaves the ramp, but this was our last chance to give it the ceremonial ending it deserves and share that with our past and present members, their families and friends.” Hamilton has been a part of this C-130 community his entire life. He looked into the crowd and identified prior members who helped him along the way, detailing how he first visited the base as a child, later joined as an enlisted C-130 maintainer, took advantage of the Ohio Air National Guard’s state tuition assistance to obtain his degree and commission as an officer, eventually flying the C-130 and becoming the 179th Airlift Wing commander. “The skull patch that you see on our 164th Airlift Squadron is world-renowned. The heritage goes back to 1942, when it was first flown with the 363rd Fighter Squadron in World War II with Aces like Bud Anderson and Chuck Yeager.” Hamilton said, “Then in 1946, they transferred that unit to Mansfield and it was formally recognized by 1948. That’s 74 years, officially, of flying here and if you go back to the World War II lineage, that’s 80 years of flying.” Ohio is home to a rich aviation history, known widely as the birthplace of aviation. The unit at Mansfield Lahm Air National Guard Base has a very rich history in military aviation. The 363rd Fighter Squadron was established at Hamilton Field, California in December 1942. The skull was first painted on a P-39 Airacobra door and followed the unit to World War II, flying the P-51 Mustang. That wartime 363rd Fighter Squadron was re-designated as the 164th Fighter Squadron and was allotted to the Ohio Air National Guard, on May 24, 1946, bestowing the lineage, history, honors, and colors of the 363rd Fighter Squadron. Organized at Mansfield Lahm Regional Airport, named in honor of Gen. Frank P. Lahm, a military aviation pioneer born in Mansfield Ohio. Lahm is credited for his contributions to bringing flight to the military after flying with the Wright Brothers, of Dayton Ohio. Over the past 74 years of aviation at Mansfield Lahm ANGB, the squadron has been assigned the F-51D/H Mustang, B-26 Invader, F-80C Shooting Star, F-84E/F Thunderstreak, F-100D/F Super Saber, C-130B/H Hercules and C-27J Spartan. During the F-84 fighter era, Fred Haise Jr., flew with the unit before going on to become an astronaut and flew as the lunar module pilot as part of the historic Apollo 13 mission in 1970. The unit transitioned from a fighter squadron to an airlift squadron in 1976, and has remained an airlift squadron until now. Hamilton acknowledged that the transitions from one aircraft to another have always been hard, but this may be their greatest challenge yet. “This unit is historically resilient. Time tested and able to adapt to any mission and get the job done. There have been many mission changes in our past, different air frames and different skillsets needed but the culture has always remained its strength. It’s the people who have made this installation a success in whatever the mission has asked of them and it’s the reason they will continue to make history.” The two aircraft flew in formation, each performing an air drop visible to the crowd and then performed a low altitude pass over the historic hangar 102, finally taxing in where they were greeted by the fire department’s water arches as they parked. “This is a difficult and challenging time for many of our members, past and present.” Hamilton said, “Today we acknowledge the loss of an aviation based mission in Mansfield as a sad day for many, we honor the accomplishments of all those who have served this unit in its storied history.” Although the loss of the aviation based mission is not easy, it is important to recognize that the unit will carry on its legacy as it transitions to this new era as the 179th Cyber Wing. “We look to the future with optimism. We recognize the history this unit continues to make. Being selected to become the first Cyber wing in the Air National Guard is another historic milestone in a long tradition of adapting to the call of duty.” Hamilton said, “In a world of increasing technological advancement, this new mission secures Mansfield’s future as a vital contributor to the defense of Ohio and this great nation for generations to come.” Brig. Gen. Gary McCue, a prior commander of the 179th Airlift Wing, shared his thoughts. “This Wing is going to be the first to do what it’s being tasked to do, it’s going to be the vanguard, a lot of other Wings will follow suit.” McCue added, “For a lot of years, they said they were going to close us. Now we’re going to be the lead in the explosion of how we do things in the future.”
  7. https://www.dvidshub.net/video/838211/908th-aws-final-c-130-hercules-flight-4-ship-formation-flight-farewell?sub_id=211485&utm_campaign=subscriptions&utm_medium=email&utm_source=211485&utm_content=asset_link&fbclid=IwAR1lGaUqRZ4IQvWBMGsvElsYClSvRA1akDph4XSQ_8L3RpUB1l6DNxhQ9g4 908th AW's Final C-130 Hercules flight, 4-Ship Formation Flight farewell MONTGOMERY, AL, UNITED STATES 04.02.2022 Video by Senior Airman Shelby Thurman The 908th Airlift Wing concluded its final flights with the C-130H Hercules aircraft as it’s assigned platform Saturday, April 2, 2020 after nearly 40 years of service. The 908th was selected to divest their C-130 fleet in anticipation of a mission change to the formal training unit for the MH-139A Grey Wolf helicopter. The 908th AW was named as the preferred location to host the MH-139 FTU Nov. 20, 2020 and is still awaiting a final basing decision.
  8. This Is Our First Look At The Navy’s Next 'Doomsday Plane,' The EC-130J TACAMO The next-generation EC-130J TACAMO will replace the current fleet of E-6B Mercury jets in a throwback to the Cold War era. By Thomas Newdick April 5, 2022 Thomas Newdick Lockheed Martin has presented a concept for its EC-130J TACAMO aircraft for the first time, building on a plan that first emerged more than a year ago. The TACAMO, or “Take Charge And Move Out” (TACAMO) mission, currently provides airborne command and control support for America’s nuclear deterrent forces and is presently fulfilled by the E-6B Mercury “Doomsday Planes,” 16 of which are in use. In recapitalizing with the new EC-130J TACAMO, the Navy will be going back to the future, with the Mercury having previously replaced another Hercules variant, the Cold War-era EC-130Q. The mission will, however, be scaled back, with the EC-130J exclusively providing command and control for the Navy’s ballistic missile submarines. An artist’s concept of the EC-130J TACAMO was shown on the Lockheed Martin stand at the Navy League’s Sea-Air-Space Exposition that is currently underway just outside of Washington, D.C. The aircraft is shown with the long trailing wires for the very-low-frequency (VLF) communications system, and apparent fairings for satellite communications gear on the wingtips and above the rear fuselage. Below the wingtip fairings are additional spike antennas that may well be related to high-frequency antennas. The bottom of the fuselage has blisters for downlink antennas used to connect with ground entry communications points. Some sort of arrays also appear to be installed in the EC-130J's modified landing gear fairings. This feature could also carry extra fuel, similar to those installed on the CMV-22. The concept art for the EC-130J TACAMO also includes extended landing gearing fairings and a dome fairing under the fuselage. As well as providing a glimpse of how the future TACAMO platform will look, Lockheed Martin provided an update on the current status of the program. “Lockheed Martin’s C-130 Hercules previously served as a U.S. Navy TACAMO platform, supporting mission successfully for many decades,” said Stephanie Sonnenfeld Stinn, a Lockheed Martin spokesperson, in a statement to The War Zone. “We stand ready to support the U.S. Navy’s TACAMO modernization effort with the unmatched, unrivaled C-130J Super Hercules. As the most advanced Hercules ever built and flown, the Super Hercules offers the unique mix of capabilities to potentially support the critical, no-fail TACAMO mission.” Meanwhile, Christopher Hurd, Public Affairs Officer for the Airborne Strategic Command, Control and Communications Program Office (PMA-271) at the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, confirmed to The War Zone that the office is working to procure three non-configured, extended-length C-130J-30 aircraft for TACAMO testing. “The first test aircraft will tentatively arrive at Naval Air Station Patuxent River [Maryland] in the FY26 timeframe,” Hurd added. Despite the EC-130J having previously served as a TACAMO platform, the decision to replace the four-jet E-6B, some of the last Boeing 707 airliner derivatives built, with a turboprop platform was in some ways surprising. While the Hercules’ cargo-focused fuselage offers considerable capacity for avionics and equipment, a derivative of the twin-engine P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft or even the KC-46 Pegasus tanker seemed most likely. There is also no shortage of bizjet-based platforms that could potentially have been candidates, too, although it’s questionable if a smaller airframe would have offered the capacity for trailing wire stowage as well as the necessary crew size and endurance. Hurd explained that an Analysis of Alternatives “indicated that a four-engine, domestically produced small aircraft is optimal for the TACAMO recapitalization,” seemingly making the C-130 the only option for the role. “The C-130 is currently extensively fielded within the Department of Defense and deployed at various bases worldwide that create operational support synergies for proving TACAMO execution,” Hurd added, pointing to the logistics, maintenance, and training advantages offered by a platform that’s already in widespread U.S. and allied service, including with the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. Hurd also pointed out that the C-130J-30 met the required performance parameters, including the ability to continue its tasking with one engine out, “regardless of when and where it occurs in the mission profile.” Sources have told The War Zone that the EC-130J would also drastically expand the number of airfields that the TACAMO could sit alert at and operate out of, making them more survivable and less predictable than the E-6. Upgrading and support will also be far easier than with some of the airliner airframes. The unique TACAMO mission profile also involves pilots putting the aircraft into a very steep and tight banking turn at slow speed, to ensure that the antenna for the VLF communications system is as close to vertical as possible, to maximize transmission effectiveness. These turns are typically repeated, often for hours at a time, to send messages. “The accelerated testing on a proven airframe will reduce the time needed to get to an initial operating capability, if all expectations are met during testing,” Hurd explained. There have been some other recent developments with the program, too, including the award of a sole-source contract to Collins Aerospace for the VLF communications system, while an open competition will lead to a contract award for mission systems integration. In one significant change from the E-6B that it’s replacing, the EC-130J TACAMO will, to begin with, at least, be designed for the TACAMO mission only. Currently, the Mercury fulfills both TACAMO duties for the Navy’s ballistic missile submarines, and the U.S. Air Force’s Airborne Command Post (ABNCP) mission, which involves maintaining communications with intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and bomber units. Before the E-6B consolidated the two roles, the ballistic missile support mission was executed by the EC-135 Looking Glass. With the EC-130J TACAMO initially only being responsible for TACAMO, the implication here is that the new aircraft will be supplemental to the existing E-6B fleet, at least for some amount of time. Full retirement of the E-6Bs would then require a substitute for the ABNCP mission, perhaps through further adapting the EC-130Js or fielding a new platform altogether. The latter might even signal that the ABNCP mission is handed over from the Navy to the Air Force. Potentially, the Air Force’s Survivable Airborne Operations Center, which is being developed primarily as a replacement for the servie's fleet of E-4B Nightwatch aircraft, also known as National Airborne Operations Centers (NAOC), could provide a follow-on for the ABNCP mission. However, from what we know so far, the Survivable Airborne Operations Center is mainly pitched as an E-4B successor. If that’s the case, and SAOC will be a 747-based platform as expected, it seems unlikely that the Air Force will want to acquire and operate a fleet of them that is similar to the size of the current 16-strong E-6B fleet. After all, the current E-4B fleet numbers just four aircraft. An inventory somewhere in between is possible though. It’s worth noting that, for a while, consideration was given to the Air Force and the Navy considering a new joint platform that would provide a direct replacement for the E-6B, but that project appears to have been terminated by 2020. Going forward, therefore, questions about the airborne nuclear control and communications missions still need to be answered, with a distinct possibility that the current joint mission could be replaced by service-specific platforms. Were that to happen, there would be another interesting parallel with the old EC-130Q. After all, when this aircraft served the Navy in the TACAMO role, the Air Force meanwhile operated the aforementioned EC-135 for its ABNCP mission. Whatever direction is chosen for the future of the Navy and Air Force Doomsday Planes, the arrival of the EC-130J will help address the issues presented by an aging E-6B Mercury fleet that has now been in service for more than three decades.
  9. Great News from Keesler Air Force Base The 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, also known as the "Hurricane Hunters," is going retro with their aircraft's paint design. The first of ten WC-130J Super Hercules aircraft arrived at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., on April 5th 2022 with a new paint job and the historic "Weather" tail marking. "Prior to 2007, the squadron's aircraft all had glossy gray paint, which was utilized on weather reconnaissance aircraft primarily for its durability, longevity, and efficiency," said Lt. Col. Erik Olson, head of operations for the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron. "It also distinguishes our platform from combat-ready C130 aircraft, as well as 'other' reconnaissance platforms, because our missions are solely for the collection of weather data in peacetime." The 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron of the Air Force Reserve is the only Department of Defense unit that monitors tropical storms and hurricanes for the National Hurricane Center in Miami in the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and central Pacific Ocean. The information gathered by the 53rd WRS during tasked missions is shared with government and meteorological agencies in the affected areas, allowing residents to be better prepared and make wiser judgments when hurricanes approach. “Working with foreign governments makes providing timely data more effective, whether it's coordinating overflights to reduce enroute time or working diplomatic approvals to fly a cyclone into territorial waters,” said Lt Col Byron Hudgins, 53rd WRS chief pilot. In addition, the WC-130J's return to gloss gray paint scheme shows countries that the WC-130J is there to aid. We are ‘Hurricane Hunters,' but ‘Weather' better portrays our numerous tasks, said Olson. For better forecasting, we fly reconnaissance into winter storms in the Northeast and into atmospheric rivers on the West Coast. The shiny paint reminds the 53rd WRS and 403rd Maintenance Squadron of when the J-models first arrived at Keesler AFB. Hudgins claims he took the last WC-130J to Tinker for tactical paint in 2008. After 14 years of advocacy, I am pleased to see the 53rd WRS return to its roots. We simply had the right people at the right time.” “The glossy gray paint scheme stood up significantly better to the weathering factors during hurricane season,” said 403rd MXS fabrication flight chief Senior Master Sgt. Stephen Connors. “The glossy gray also lasts longer for maintenance and touch-up painting.” The tactical gray required touch-up painting on the leading edges of the wings and the vertical tail fin after every two-week storm rotation, whereas the glossy gray required three to four storm rotations. Returning to glossy paint saves money and manpower, Connors says. It also damages the tactical gray paint to the metal, although the same weather damage to the glossy gray paint does not have the same impact. Connors also stated that the aircraft will be painted as usual, with touch-ups completed by the fabrication flight. The return to the original colour scheme excites me. It makes financial sense. “The glossy paint lasts longer, saving the Air Force Reserve money on repainting,” said Maj. Gen. Jay Jensen, special assistant to the AFRC commander. ‘Weather' indications on E-models,' Jensen added. The return of legacy and tradition is welcome.
  10. 109th first in Air National Guard to build 3.5 engine Photo By Staff Sgt. Madison Daquelente | U.S. Air National Guard Staff. Sgt. Jason Candido, a propulsion specialist at the... read more SCHENECTADY, NY, UNITED STATES 03.15.2022 Story by Staff Sgt. Madison Daquelente LC-130 Hercules aircraft will have a smoother take off from Antarctica and Greenland thanks to the 109th maintenance squadron. 109th propulsion specialists assembled the first Air National Guard-built T56 3.5 turbo engine. The 3.5 modification is part of an Air Force initiative to update C-130 aircraft. The 109th’s engine is unique as it’s the first one to be assembled in-unit by airmen. This 3.5 engine is the finishing piece to modernizing the 109th’s legacy fleet into a more powerful and eco-friendly force. Operating the Department of Defense’s only ski-equipped LC-130 Hercules aircraft, the 109th deploys annually to the austere environments of Greenland and Antarctica in support of the National Science Foundation. Occasionally, the skibirds have trouble taking off from icy surfaces of these areas of operation due to heavy cargo loads or friction lock under the skis. Traditionally, jet-assisted take off or JATO bottles are used to create extra thrust to get the skibirds off of the snow or ice and into the air. JATO production, however, officially stopped in 1991. Maj. Jim Roth, commander of the 109th maintenance squadron, explained the increasing challenges with using JATO. “They are depleting and every time we use them, we have to shoot eight off at a time, and it begins to present a real logistical concern when it comes to the decreasing supply,” Roth said. The new T56-8-15A 3.5 engines, combined with the LC-130H’s NP2000 eight-bladed propellers, are the answer to beginning to shift away from JATO bottles. “The updated features allow the aircraft to create the same thrust as JATO bottles but at lower operating temperatures, making them more eco-friendly,” said Staff Sgt. Jason Candido, a propulsion specialist with the 109th. “We're looking at an efficiency of about 20% more fuel efficiency compared to the 3.0 engine,” Candido continued. The skibirds will also be able to carry heavier cargo loads to remote polar regions. “We are the only heavy airlift able to reach these remote polar camps. These new engines allow for greater range and capacity. We’re advancing the Arctic strategy that much more,” Roth said. “It’s the expertise and abilities of 109th airmen like Jason Candido that drive us forward,” Roth continued. Candido, who has been at the 109th for over ten years, was one of the airmen who assembled the new engine. “This is the exact same engine that we’ve been using for years, just the internals are different,” Candido said. “The updated engine uses different types of metal in the turbine and compressor that have better heat retention, giving us the same power at lower temperatures,” he continued. Assembling the 3.5 engine is a two-person job that took approximately a full month’s work to complete, he said. “This is exactly what the National Guard is all about. It’s about retaining key talent and having an experienced workforce. Bringing that to the table allows us to do this stuff,” Roth said. “For me, there’s a lot of pride in putting this engine together. A lot of people just look at the engine, but I look at my work. It’s like art,” Candido said. The improved engines will also cut down on frequent maintenance and inspection. When the LC-130Hs finished the transition from four to eight-bladed propellers in 2018, Candido said there was a noticeable difference in maintenance time. “Whenever we had a seal leak in Antarctica, you couldn't replace that one blade. You had to do the entire process to put a brand new one back on,” Candido said. The eight-bladed propellers, however, are designed for a simpler fix in the event of a seal leak. “We went from having an engine with a day and a half downtime to maybe two hours, and then it's flying again,” Candido said. The 109th propulsion shop has been approved to start assembling the rest of the 3.5 engines, in conjunction with some that will be assembled in Little Rock, Arkansas. Members from the 109th are scheduled to attend a conference at the end of March to discuss a future timeline to outfit all LC-130Hs with the 3.5 engines. “We are plowing ahead with our own builds to help supplement the force. We are building ours quickly so we’re ready to go as soon as possible,” Roth said.
  11. Lockheed Martin Reaches Super Herculean Milestone With Delivery of 500th C-130J Airlifter This Historic Super Herc Operated by the West Virginia Air National Guard's 130th Airlift Wing MARIETTA, Ga., March 15, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Hercules history is made once again, with the announcement that Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) recently delivered its 500th C-130J Super Hercules airlifter. This Super Hercules (Lockheed Martin aircraft #5934) is a C-130J-30 aircraft assigned to the 130th Airlift Wing located at McLaughlin Air National Guard Base in Charleston, West Virginia. The 130th Airlift Wing is a longtime C-130 operator that is currently modernizing its legacy Hercules fleet with C-130Js. 500th-C-130J The U.S. government operates the largest C-130J Super Hercules fleet in the world. This delivery represents the U.S. government's continued transition to the C-130J as the common platform across the Air Force, the Marine Corps and the Coast Guard. "This delivery represents the thousands of people — past and present — that design, build, fly, maintain and support C-130Js around the world," said Rod McLean, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin's Air Mobility & Maritime Missions (AMMM) line of business. "Like its namesake, the C-130J is a legend defined by its strength and power. Yet, it is the people who are part of the C-130J operator, production, supplier and industry partner communities who truly define the Super Hercules and helped the C-130J Program reach this monumental achievement." The C-130J Super Hercules is the current production model of the legendary C-130 Hercules aircraft. The airlift choice of 26 operators in 22 nations, the global C-130 fleet has surpassed more than 2 million flight hours and holds more than 54 world records. Defined by its versatility, there are 17 different mission configurations of the C-130J that includes transport (military and commercial), humanitarian aid delivery, aerial firefighting, natural disaster relief support, medevac, search and rescue, weather reconnaissance, and aerial refueling. As the most advanced C-130 ever produced, the C-130J-30 Super Hercules (which is 15 feet/4.6 m longer than legacy C-130 models) offers these enhancements and advancements compared to legacy models: · 30% more passengers and cargo 50% more CDS bundles 44% more paratroopers 30% crew reduction 14% more fuel efficient 20% improvement in payload/range capability Integrated defensive suite and 250 knot ramp/door Automated maintenance fault reporting Unmatched situational awareness with digital avionics and dual HUD
  12. New Federal Spending Bill Includes $8.7M for YARS 12 Mar 2022 YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The $1.5 billion omnibus spending bill passed this week by both houses of Congress contains an allocation of $8.7 million for the Youngstown Air Reserve Station. Within the voluminous legislation is the National Defense Authorization Act, which specifies the YARS allocation. The money will be used to widen a runway to accommodate C-17 aircraft. Also included is funding for four new C-130 J aircraft, which could eventually join four others approved in 2020 to be housed at YARS. In a news release Friday, The Eastern Ohio Military Affairs Commission and the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber praised the bipartisan efforts that resulted in passage of the omnibus bill. “Our entire federal delegation has always understood the economic value YARS provides to the entire Valley,” Regional Chamber President & CEO Guy Coviello said. “The hard work put forth by Sens. Brown and Portman, along with Congressmen Ryan, Johnson and Joyce is greatly acknowledged and appreciated to protect and grow Trumbull County’s largest employer.” Since the inception of EOMAC, the annual economic output at YARS has increased from $89 million to over $150 million, according to the chamber. YARS is home to the 910th Airlift Wing and the Department of Defense’s only large-area, fixed-wing aerial spray unit and has approximately 2,000 employees.
  13. A Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) weapon is prepared for testing at the Eglin Air Force Armament Center on March 11, 2003. Share Article C-130 Drops ‘Mother of All Bombs’ at Eglin March 11, 2003 USAF drops a precision-guided Massive Ordnance Air Blast weapon from a C-130 aircraft in a test at Eglin AFB, Fla. Known as the “Mother of All Bombs,” and weighing 21,500 pounds, MOAB is the largest non-nuclear weapon in existence.
  14. Guard, Reserve would get 20 more C-130J transport aircraft under budget deal By Stephen Losey Mar 9, 01:17 PM WASHINGTON — The proposed budget bill that would fund the U.S. government for the rest of fiscal 2022 provides funding for 20 more C-130J Super Hercules aircraft for the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard. Sixteen of the added C-130Js would go to the Air National Guard to modernize two operational wings at an additional cost of $1.8 billion, according to a summary of the omnibus spending bill released by congressional appropriators Wednesday. The remaining four, which would add $429 million to the spending bill, would go to the Reserve. The increased spending for new C-130Js — now totaling nearly $2.4 billion, up from almost $129 million in the administration’s budget request — would be a boon to Lockheed Martin, which makes the mobility aircraft. It also represents the bulk of the increase to the Air Force’s aircraft procurement spending lawmakers added to the administration’s FY22 budget request. The original request called for $15.7 billion in aircraft procurement spending, but the omnibus bill would spend $18.4 billion. The Air National Guard is now in the midst of a multiyear effort to upgrade its mobility fleet and replace its three-decade-old C-130H Hercules planes with modern C-130Js. C-130Js have improved engines with six-blade propellers that provide more thrust and efficiency than their predecessor’s four-blade propeller engines, allowing it to fly farther and faster. They also have digital avionics, upgraded displays, improved navigation and radar systems, more cargo space, a digital autopilot, and the need for a smaller aircrew. In November 2020, the Air Force announced it had selected Air National Guard bases in Kentucky, West Virginia, Texas and Georgia to receive 24 C-130Js to replace their aging “H” models. At the time, Democrats objected to the Air Force’s surprise decision to select a fourth base — Savannah Air National Guard Base in Georgia — shortly before the runoff elections for both Senate seats there. The Air National Guard’s director, Lt. Gen. Mike Loh, said in a roundtable with reporters last year that modernizing the force’s mobility fleet, including upgrading older C-130Hs, is crucial. “In order to keep old aircraft around, it’s costing me a lot of money,” Loh said at the Air Force Association’s Air, Space and Cyber conference in Maryland in September 2021. The budget deal also would considerably increase spending on C-130 modifications, from the administration’s original $29 million request to $272 million. This would include another $151 million for upgrading older C-130s with eight-blade propellers, and another added $79 million for engine enhancements. These eight-blade composite propellers were designed to make C-130Hs more efficient as well as to provide more thrust during takeoff and while climbing. In an explanatory statement, appropriators highlighted the importance of maintaining the C-130′s production line in light of diminishing manufacturing sources. The budget agreement includes an additional $26.3 million to pay for the Air Force’s C-130J diminishing manufacturing source requirements in FY22, increasing the administration’s original $113.3 million request. The omnibus budget also would add four MQ-9 drones to the administration’s original request at a price tag of $92 million, as well as eight additional UH-N1 helicopter replacements.
  15. Pretty sure we're down to single digit H1s now and I'm sure their days are numbered before deemed excess and up for grabs by FMS and about 40 H2s left.
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