Two Air National Guard units have flown their first, and last deployments with the venerable C-130.
The units in question were deployed to the 737th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron and the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing operating in the Middle East.
The Connecticut ANG has already transitioned from the A-10 Thunderbolt II and the C-21 Cougar to the C-130H Hercules, and is currently flying on its first C-130 deployment.
Meanwhile, the North Carolina Air National Guard is ending its relationship with the Hercules. In future, the Charlotte-based wing will transition to the C-17 Globemaster III.
“On a C-17 you don’t have navigators or engineers, so just the manning document itself is going to change,” explained Lt Col Gary Dodge, the 737th EAS commander. “The logistics – the buildings, the training, the air frames – it’s a huge puzzle. Trying to make that transition is challenging, but I’m sure it’ll be successful.”
The Connecticut ANG has been flying C-130s since 2013, but the deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve is the first time provided they have taken the aircraft on operations.