The aircrew of a C-130H transport carrying 34 passengers over Iraq on June 9 was able to land the aircraft safely despite a severe hydraulic leak that left some of its critical systems inoperable, officials at Joint Base Balad announced Tuesday. The aircraft, assigned to Balad’s 777th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron, had been dispatched to ferry the passengers from Baghdad International Airport to Erbil, Iraq, a flight of about a half-hour. After climbing to 12,000 feet, the aircraft’s loadmasters discovered the leak, which sprayed several gallons of caustic fluid into the cabin before the aircrew shut off the pumps. Aircrew members were able to manually lower the aircraft’s landing gear and flaps, and the pilots were able to bring the aircraft safely back to Balad with only partial power to the flight controls and no anti-skid braking available. (Balad report by Lt. Col. Nathan Allerheiligen)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.