As of Monday, the Air Force had completed inspections on 84 percent of its nearly 600 C-130 transports to check on the condition of their upper-wing joint nuts, an Air Force Materiel Command spokesman told the Daily Report yesterday. Of those aircraft already inspected, about 43 percent have returned to duty, this official said. The Air Force began these inspections last week after cracks were found in the joint nuts of an older model C-130 in depot at Robins AFB, Ga. Originally only E and H model C-130s were affected by the time compliance technical order calling for the inspections, but later the Air Force extended it to the entire C-130 fleet, including its new C-130Js. New nuts are being installed as deemed necessary, the official said. Aircraft in support of operations in Afghanistan and Iraq are at the top of the list to inspect and fix.
Three B-1B Lancers from the 7th Bomb Wing flew over the Indo-Pacific alongside F-16s from the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force as part of a joint large force exercise. The mission began and ended in the continental U.S. The bombers flew 31 hours and landed Jan. 11.