C-130H Completes Combat Tour

The US Air Force will no longer operate the C-130H in Afghanistan. The new C-130J model replaced the veteran cargo workhorse on Jan. 9, states a Jan. 13 release. The first C-130J actually arrived at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, moments after the last C-130H took off from the base for its final time. “The C-130H model here at Bagram has been truly outstanding. They are the oldest C-130 fleet here in the [area of responsibility], flying the highest utilization rate, yet they continually boast the highest mission capability rate in the AOR,” said Col. Ben Spencer, commander of the 455th Expeditionary Maintenance Group. In fact, the H-model had a 94 percent reliability rate flying out of Bagram, states the release. However, the newer aircraft is expected to be even more efficient with a whole new digital cockpit, additional airlift capacity, and more efficient engines and propellers, noted Lt. Col. Greg Lowe, commander of the 455th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. “We hope that the J-models will pick up the mantle and do as well as our H-model brethren did,” Spencer said.